Marcin Gałązka of the antique & book store Antykwariat Kwadryga answers some questions from 後現代 | POSTGENDAI. We came across this garden-level store. The cosy light was passing through the open door. When we walked into the store, Marcin spoke to us gently and talked about old Polish magazines, the design of old propaganda posters, and the city of Warsaw. This is the place we rarely see nowadays, probably we only see in old films. However, this secret cultural place exists at present. We can feel POSTGENDAI atmosphere here.
Marcin Gałązka (Antykwariat Kwadryga, Warsaw)
When I was 15, there was a time of change in Poland. It was 1990. I dreamed about seeing other countries. I went alone on a trip to Prague. This was my first trip abroad. Probably I also thought about sex a lot.
Q2. When did you open your bookstore? Why did you open your store at this location?
I did not open this bookshop. It already existed before. I joined this business 10 years ago. The advantages of this location: city center, quiet place, nice building with history, low rent.
Left: Marcin Gałązka, Right: Artur Jastrzębski
Q3. What was the most impressive thing or moment you encountered at your bookstore?
In an antique shop every day can bring a surprise. Every day is different. This is great in this job. But for me personally the most impressive were the days going beyond the usual store activities, when we organized concerts. We invited musicians we like. The audience were mostly friends. There was a unique atmosphere and experience (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R5R9XoxZQg)
Q4. What is the most unforgettable thing you have ever seen or found?
It is difficult to give one answer. So you have three. Spontaneous.
I spent my holidays in the Middle East once. A few weeks in a dry, harsh climate. When I came back to Poland by land, I remember that I was charmed when - somewhere in Slovakia - I was traveling by train through a thick, fragrant forest with lush greenery. It was a beautiful and unforgettable feeling. It was over 20 years ago and I still remember it.
I also remembered now that when I was in Iran, I saw something that probably few people saw and that was unforgettable. I was walking around the city of Yazd. In one of the side streets I saw a hand-painted sign with a muscular guy lifting weights. I looked in and was invited by men inside. I saw zoorkhaneh rituals there. This is an ancient Persian combination of dance, prayer, singing and gymnastics. It was a beautiful and mystical experience.
It was a great experience for me to see live paintings of Petrov-Vodkin. I saw them twice in my life. The first time I watched a large exhibition of Russian art a long time ago in Moscow. Many years have passed and I remember only "Bathing a red horse". In the spring I had the opportunity to see in Paris a large exhibition on the revolutionary art of Russia. Again, I remember the image of Petrov-Vodkin "Fantasy" the best.
Q5. What does come to your mind when you hear the word "postmodern"?
It is an attempt to give one word for something that is not uniform, which is diverse.
Q6. Who is your favorite writers or philosopher, and what is your favorite book written by them?
My favorite writer is Bolesław Prus. He lived and created in my city in the second half of the nineteenth century, but in his books there are many topics that are true and up to date. His most famous and best novel is "Lalka". There is a Japanese translation. There you will find an interesting, multi-faceted image of Polish society, touching the story of man's unfulfilled love for a woman and the story of male friendship. Some say it is the best Polish novel. I agree.
Q7. Can you give us suggestion of contemporary Polish writers and thinkers?
I am not a specialist in contemporary Polish writers and thinkers, to say the least. I like the poetry of Marcin Świetlicki especially as the lyrics of the bands' songs (Świetliki, Zgniłość).
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