As an index of humanistic, if not liberalistic, survival under totalitarian pressures, this is an illuminating and important collection of recent fact and fiction behind the Iron Curtain. Yet while its interests are multifarious, its literary performance is only rarely major, its native originality even less rarely established. For far more than the nightmare, it is the West's great men-of-letters (Kafka, Maurine, Drwell), besides the expected Slavic ones (Tolstoy, Chekov, Dostoevsky), which hover over and almost annihilate the writers here offered. Be that as it may, the incongruities of the Polish scene prove dramatic and dynamic: Communist/Marxist commitment, opposing Catholic/Nationalist soul-stirrings, plus all the happy isms (neopositize, existential, material, revision). Notables Borowski (a '51 suicide), Andrzewski, Czycz movingly evoke tales of SS men, symbolic individualism, youthful frustrations, horror-of- the-everyday; deviationist Kolakowski's ""priest and jester"" polemic and parliamentarian Kisilewski's schematism sermon are expert essays, while Lem's ""cosmos"", Lec's aphorisms delight the funny bone. A telling tapestry of today's Left-and-Right-in-transition.