Transparency, Transparencia, Prezroczystość

Here’s a taster of Marek Bieńczyk’s Transparency, so good that I want to share, but also because typing it here it slows me down. This is one of those books, that you want to inhabit as long as possible, one of those books that convert into language thoughts or sensations you know have always been with you.

Why transparency, transpicuousness, transparencia, przezroczystość? Might this light have come to us from elsewhere? First of all, perhaps because of this: Couldn’t I say that it, transparency, is the first thing I remember in life, like an icon or roadside cross? The first image: a bright, empty room in the morning, with an enormous patch of sunlight, a yellow square on the wall. The air thus illuminated, with quivering bits of dust, so pure and full in that light that it seemed its interior had been revealed, so that transparency allowed the gaze to penetrate its bare surface to see an even deeper purity. Thus it lay dormant through long years, occasionally broadcasting a covert desire for solitude, quiet, absence; it was a visual projection of life,  of life’s unexcavated proto-Gospel, until at lasting burst out in the fullness of its name, transparency, transparencia, prezroczystość, as a theme, as truth and illusion, as the hobby of existence, the graspable handrail against which we may lean our very being, something we might even try to pour into text.

Marek Bieńczyk, Transparency. trans. Benjamin Paloff. Dalkey Archive Press, 2012 (2007)

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