THE JOURNEY AND THE PITY by Pawel ayewski

THE JOURNEY AND THE PITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Polish writer's severe, satiric, ideological allegory (comparisons may be drawn-with Kafka, with Koestler) deals with an isolated, controlled society in an anonymous country. Externally engaged in the construction of a railroad, a number of men and an occasional woman endure a repressive regime of official restrictions; there are daily unexplained warrants, arbitrary ordinances, ambiguous ommuniques from unknown, higher sources. Here too are the dialectics- or double- talk of suppression- namely indirection, innuendo or evasion.... A skeletal narrative can be reduced to a few incidents: the poisoning of a dog, Pandur, is a premonition of the disintegration to follow; there is an inquiry but it is inconclusive; The nameless narrator becomes the new labor and construction administrator at the death of his superior who has perhaps sacrificed the workers to the ""dream""; and finally there is a demand for a revision of the ""rules"" which ends, ironically, in the abdication of all authority.... Mayewski suggests in scenes and occasional massages of power the futility of the individual ""reconciled forever to the terror of birds screeching over barren lands and the despair which does not end, even after death"". His book is filled with many subterranean speculations and possible parallels, and is not for the common reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1963
Publisher: Scribners