Jasieński’s I Burn Paris upset the French authorities enough to have him expelled from the country upon its publication . The story concerns a plague that breaks out in Paris, which exposes the worst tendencies of the city’s inhabitants. As the death toll rises, the city breaks down and groups begin to isolate themselves according to ethnicity, nationality and ideology. In today’s political climate, the book is perhaps more relevant than ever and serves as a stark warning about the perils of isolationism.
Over the course of the episode, we look at I Burn Paris in the light of Jasieński life and politics, consider the influence Futurism on the novel, and explore the communist message its core.
Nina Kolesnikoff, Bruno Jasieński: His Evolution from Futurism to Socialist Realism (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1983)
Marci Shore, Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generations Life and Death in Marxism 1918 - 1968 (Yale University Press, 2006)
Aleksandr Wat, My Century (University of California Press, 1988), trans. Richard Lourie
Excerpt from Jasieński's poem read by Andrzej Girdwoyń - wolnelektury.pl