Practices of addition? Perhaps better the reverse: practices of subtraction? What happens when Różewicz adds on? Does that addition add a sum susceptible to calculation, or does it rather engender differences? And how do those differences work? And why can the amounts not be summed up? These are a few questions that immediately arise. Let us take a different path, however: let us begin at the beginning.
Tadeusz Różewicz adds on. Nevertheless, if we take a good look, we cannot say what his additions consist of, what they add. If we don’t know what, then gradually, together with what is being added, we find ourselves increasingly unclear about what is being added to. If we do not know or know less and less what he is adding to what, a suspicion begins to grow that he is not adding but subtracting. He adds, so he subtracts, and the more he adds, the more he seems to subtract. Thus, Różewicz subtracts.
Tadeusz Różewicz subtracts. Yet it is not clear from what. Since it is not clear from what, it slowly, together with subtraction, emerges that less and less is known of what is being subtracted. Since it remains unclear what he is subtracting, the question arises as to whether he is truly subtracting; could he be adding? He subtracts, so he adds. And thus – Różewicz adds on.
Once again: Różewicz adds on. He adds to his published poems photographs of their manuscripts or of their typescripts full of underlined and crossed-out passages. He adds to his published poems other poems published under the same title. He adds books of the same name to his books. To books of collected poems he adds other variants of those same collections. He adds photos and drawings to words. He adds voice to print. In effect, he subtracts. He subtracts because he adds in such a way that what he is adding to becomes similar to the addition. In attaching his addition (for example: an altered version of a previously published text), he makes what was being added to (we shall conditionally call it the original) disappear. Is it possible to subtract more? More deductively and more acutely?
What has decisive importance in Różewicz’s practices of addition is not the fact that Różewicz often publishes pre-texts of his texts – that has been known to occur, though with other writers usually much less frequently; nor is it the fact that he published a book like Historia pięciu wierszy (The History of Five Poems, Wrocław 2011), in which he placed sets of manuscripts of several of his works – such bibliological curiosities are nothing out of the ordinary, either; nor the fact that he published Wiersze przeczytane (Read Poems, Wrocław 2014), a collection accompanied by a CD featuring the poems in the book read out loud by the poet – others had done that before, for example, Czesław Miłosz. All of these undertakings are of course relevant, they are significant, but they find their true meaning in juxtaposition with other activities on Różewicz’s part. What is crucial is the fact – one stubbornly contrary to literary scholarly customs, textological tradition, and editorial conventions – that the publication of a work of poetry in book form does not end the author’s work on that poem. It does not interrupt his work on the poem. It does not result in the abandonment of the poem, but quite the reverse, provokes a return to it. That is how its successive lines take shape, and are then published. And now we get to the important change: the lines following one after the other gradually cease to be lines and become something else. The problem is that we don’t really know what that is. New originals? Perhaps – but then what happens with the old original? The two concepts – original and altered version – somehow seem to interweave in layers.
Of course, we could (though, to tell the truth, we really can’t) settle the whole matter by stating that a great poet repeats himself, thereby becoming less and less great, and perhaps even less and less of a poet. But it is also possible to take a different route: to attempt together with Różewicz – and with his encouragement, for this kind of encouragement is what matters to Różewicz – to rethink once more what we consider the criterion for evaluation of an author’s effort. In particular the categories of originality and derivativeness, rupture and continuation, experiment and tradition. A cursory glance at those three oppositions (and there could be many more) shows that what Różewicz is doing is not situated on the same side each time, or is difficult to place within the framework of such oppositions – a circumstance which should give us pause. Similarly, successive “versions” that Różewicz “adds” to a poem (I use quotation marks because we already know that this addition does not add up, but rather introduces differences) are generally not of lower artistic quality than that “original.” Similarly, too, the printed manuscript versions sometimes, or in truth, quite often, seem at least as good as the poem in its revised, published form.
So what should we call this unnamed entity created by Różewicz’s practice of addition? Perhaps – since it is a plural entity – poem-bundles? We would then be saying that a poem-bundle is a group of works joined by relations of family resemblance (kinship, but also affinity), linked to one another through various (sometimes ambiguous) authorial or editorial decisions and possessing the same rights. In such bundles, pre-texts can be found together with not only post-texts, or different “versions” of a work taken from different editions, but also with translations. The status of the Różewicz original, or rather “original,” is the same as the status of a translation – which, as we know, constitutes a series, and an open series at that.
This openness is of crucial significance. Poem-bundles are open, not only in the sense that while the author was alive, he could always add something on (or take something away); and not in the sense that there exists a number, a finite number, of such poem-bundles to be discovered or put together; but rather in the sense that the process of arranging and sorting them is, potentially and theoretically, just as open as the process of putting together new collections of poems. Because there is no clear boundary – though one can be established, albeit always more or less arbitrarily – between one such bundle and another.
Why is there none? For many reasons. Because Różewicz writes his books twice: he “re-wrote” Kartoteka (The Card Index, 1960) as Kartoteka rozrzucona (The Scattered Card Index, 1997); zawsze fragment (always fragment, 1996) was “completed” or “developed” by the entitled zawsze fragment. recycling (always fragment. recycling, 1998); and Płaskorzeźba (Bas-relief, 1991) was “doubled” from within by the “addition” to each poem therein of its earlier, crossed-out manuscript version. Let us note the function of quotation marks in our description. Różewicz only writes that he “re-wrote” in quotation marks, because it is by no means clear that what we have in Kartoteka rozrzucona is the same play, Kartoteka, only revised, or a different play, only similar to Kartoteka. The books zawsze fragment and zawsze fragment. recycling are no doubt linked by something, but the decision as to whether in this case we are dealing with completion or development of the one by the other or with something completely different is far from self-evident. Not in the sense that the matter can ultimately be decided through careful research, and it only remains to undertake that research, but far from evident because it can only be justified, more or less ably, through an interpretation, which is always – being an interpretation – itself subject to further interpretation. To say that in Płaskorzeźba the original poems have had their manuscripts added is not – contrary to appearances and contrary to our habits – a description, but a far-reaching – and, in my opinion, not the best possible – interpretation. What is at stake in Różewicz’s enterprise is our becoming conscious that it is not clear what is a reflection of what: the manuscript in the original or the original in the manuscript? And are we in fact dealing with a relationship of reflection here? The point is for us to consider that what is happening is not so simple (or just so; or basically so) as the idea that in “adding” to a printed verse its crossed-out manuscript or typescript (never, let us note, a fair copy in the poet’s hand!), Różewicz wants to show us a “secret of the poet’s craft.” To bear witness to how difficult his work is. To teach writing. To encourage or discourage (so much work, so many corrections!) people to take up the work of literature. It is no accident, as we learn from Bogusław Michnik’s foreword to Historia pięciu wierszy, that Różewicz rejected (as “rather immodest,” 7) the idea of giving that book the title Lekcja poezji (Lesson in Poetry). He chose the word “history” because it is a neutral word, but also, we may conjecture, because history, contrary to widespread rumours, is something that has no end. So what is the heart of the matter? The point is for us to imagine that the manuscript with its crossings-out is not an earlier and less perfect version of the published work, but that the published work is in a way an impoverished form of the poem, one of several possibilities, possessing equal rights – among other manuscripts and other published “versions.” Let us think differently than we normally do. Różewicz is considered a master of maximally condensed form, aiming, as it is often said, for silence – and that means that his work is based on purifying the poem of whatever is superfluous. So that the poem has attained perfection by the time it is published. And for that he receives praise. And keeps being praised for the same attainment when he further “purifies” and “smoothes out the rough edges” – in his ongoing work on previously published poems. But does the second bout of praise not nullify the previous one? Can he be praised for both activities at once? If not, then perhaps we need to change our perspective? And recognize that in reworking his published poems, Różewicz suggests that he reveals his manuscripts not in order to show how much he throws out, but rather that he would prefer not to throw anything out, but would like to hold on to everything – every line of poem. And that he does not choose between versions, except that he sometimes has no choice but to do so…
Perhaps Różewicz thus wishes to tell us something along these lines: my text is always a multiple text, in motion, but not forward motion, towards some goal, but in all directions simultaneously and unpredictably. That does not mean that this movement is chaotic, only that it goes through multiple resolutions. It should not be stopped, but instead its resolutions should be set down, its circumstances defined, its conditions written out. A manuscript is not the potency from which one tries to extract one particular, ideal form of the poem, but is an element in a kind of network, on the one hand, and a network of its own, on the other; a network in which meaning circulates. This circulation is not closed, but on the contrary: it changes at the slightest alteration of context. And I know how to change contexts, and like doing so…
If that is so, then we should now ask how the context changes and what its change changes – as well as how contexts are exchanged and what changes their exchange introduces? We face the first situation when, for example, the composition of a book of poems changes. We see the second when such a book (and this is particularly arresting when it happens in what is nominally a new volume) hosts a poem previously seen in an earlier book, and thus (nominally) old. Is the new “aged” by the old, or does the old regain its youth thanks to the new? Each time it is different, so there is no one answer – and we have seen a great many such cases. It is enough to mention the fact that from the book zawsze fragment. recycling, as reprinted in Utworów zebranych (UZ, Collected Works, Poezja 3, 2006), 19 poems from the 1998 first edition were omitted: thereby only 15 remained from that version, i.e., fewer than half of its contents. Sometimes an exchange of context signifies a transfer from genre to genre or from one form to another (and sometimes both: the poem “Od jutra się zmienię” [Starting Tomorrow I’ll Change] from zawsze fragment. recycling was at first included in Kartki wydarte z dziennika [Pages Towarn from a Journal] – where it had the title of its first line “To się zaczęło 28 września 1992 roku” [It Began on September 28, 1992] – and then in the drama Kartoteka rozrzucona). This transfer sometimes elicits a need to “adapt” the poem to the new context: it thus becomes “corrected” (sometimes maintaining its original date of composition, however). Sometimes a kind of gap in the new whole seems to gape so wide that in order to “stop it up,” Różewicz tears a fragment from another text, places it in the empty spot, and thereby makes a new whole from the fragment. This occurs, for example, in “Matka odchodzi” (Mother is Leaving). But these are mere examples. There is no way to list here all of the devices the poet uses, but the fact is that there is no need to do so. I will not be out of order, I think, in declaring that now, almost every author writing about Różewicz must ask himself about the status of the text he is working on and determine with what kind of multiplicity he is working. Awareness of the peculiar status of a Różewicz text has become relatively widespread, although naturally various conclusions are drawn from it. In my view, they are not radical enough, but in any case they are certainly less radical than Różewicz’s own.
And he also did other, quite astonishing things. In the poem “Drzwi” (The Door) he brought back into Polish a formula from an English translation of his own previous Polish text: “nic / nie widzę” (UZ VII, Poezja 2, 324), in English “I see / nothing”; “widzę / Nic” in “Matka odchodzi” (UZ XI 63). He allowed his German translator, Karl Dedecius, to make such consequential changes in the form of his poems, which were then translated (back), that one might risk making the assertion that Dedecius in a sense provided his own originals. Różewicz published three versions of “Twarzy” (Faces; 1964, 1966, 1968), three editions of the book Na powierzchni poematu i w środku (1983, 1989, 1998), and three editions of Uśmiechy (1955, 1957, 2001), not to mention the entire series of recycled books published in the last 25 years of his life, among which a special place belongs to the collective (in essence) anthologies Matka odchodzi (2001, 2004) and Nasz Starszy Brat (Our Elder Brother; 1994, 2004) – in so doing, he managed to obliterate completely the boundaries between a new volume of poetry, a reissue, a second (revised) edition, a thematic collection of poems, and an anthology. To say nothing of the successive editions, notorious for intersecting in various ways, of his plays, prose works, and essays (for example, consider the four editions of Przygotowania do wieczoru autorskiego [Preparing for a Public Appearance]: 1971, 1977, 1990, 2004). Such decisions make it uncommonly difficult to follow the chronology of Różewicz’s writings and establish any kind of periodization, all the more so given that he was famous for taking decades to compose his texts. That means that Różewicz is saying to us: in my work there are no new or old poems; an old poem becomes new in a new context and a new one can at any moment turn out to be old, depending on its context. My poems, as they have no permanent single form, also have no permanent meaning, but become filled with meaning or have it hollowed out of them.
This constant movement of exchange of identities is in no way disputed by any of Różewicz’s collected works. There have been three sets (Poezje zebrane [Collected Poetry], 1971 (2nd edition – 1976), Sztuki teatralne [Plays], 1972, Proza [Prose], 1973; Poezja [Poetry], vol. 1, 2, 1988, Teatr [Theater], vol. 1, 2, selected by the author, introduced by J. Keler, 1988, Proza [Prose], vol. 1, 2, 1990; Utwory zebrane [Collected Works, 12 volumes], 2003-2006), and each of them – particularly the third and last – became the occasion not for confirming some canonical embodiment of his work, but for radically questioning most certainties about it. Let us remember that Różewicz started out with the act of thoroughly reworking his literary debut, Niepokój (Anxiety; 1947). His Collected Works thus do not so much close anything as open everything up: they do not end, but begin anew, though never from the beginning.
The effect is extremely peculiar: poems in the form of variants with no original. Różewicz would seem to be the only writer of new Polish literature who consciously constructed his work in such a way that his poems appear with many versions of equal standing (they are thus no longer versions, but rather can at the outmost be called “versions”). This means that each reader can choose the edition he wishes to use, obtain the poem in the form that most pleases him – and write an essay about it, put it in an anthology, or send it in an e-mail to his beloved… Each version is equally good, at least presumptively, and each use we make of it – at least theoretically – equally authorized. Jan Stolarczyk, Różewicz’s publisher, offers a singularly compelling description of the poet’s strategy in the Editor’s Note to Historia pięciu wierszy:
Leaving aside Historia pięciu wierszy for a moment I will mention that the author sometimes reinserts crossed-out words or larger units, and then takes them out again. It sometimes happens that after a certain time he adds something or strikes something out in the version he just found on his desk, creating yet another variant of the work. He has made a great many changes (including to titles) to older poems in the course of putting together his Collected Works. Publishers and interpreters have used various editions, so that in anthologies or readers one encounters different forms of the same work. 
And next, perhaps even more importantly, Stolarczyk observes: “we are not dealing here with a process of ‘fashioning’ form, but with the renewal of one of the versions chosen earlier by the author.” To be precise, this remark in fact relates to the second edition of słowa po słowie. nowego wyboru wierszy (word by word. new selected poems, 2003), but it can unhesitatingly be applied to all of Różewicz’s oeuvre.
There is no point in dissembling: I like Stolarczyk’s rather nonchalant tone. Różewicz changes his poems – but that doesn’t mean that he is pursuing an elusive ideal, rather that he is taking in hand whatever presents itself. He does not treat his revisions with unction: he makes them, then withdraws them, or puts them back, or sometimes keeps them, and sometimes not, for a longer or a shorter time… Who knows… One interpreter will take this form of the poem, a different one will take another… One anthologist will choose this one, another that one, but they will never consistently choose the same one… Even in readers for children, Różewicz’s poems may appear in various variants; nowhere do they keep an invariable form, one not susceptible to change… There is no teleological process or even a process without a teleology that is revealed by Różewicz’s multiple texts, but a capricious and stubborn practice of renewal that creates complicated structures. From renewal to renewal: that is Różewicz’s rhythm.
And while we are discussing Stolarczyk, another question comes up: has anyone turned their attention to his “Publisher’s Note” in successive volumes of the 12-volume edition of Utwory zebrane (Wrocław 2003-2006)? They are very interesting for two reasons: firstly, their status is atypical; secondly, they contain some memorable formulations. Concerning their status, we may note the following. The Collected Works was released in its entirety during Różewicz’s lifetime, so we may assume that the form of all notes was accepted by him. These notes contain not only the basic principles and information about the edition, but also some interpretative pointers. The fact that we find these pointers in a statement from the publisher rather than the author makes their meaning considerably stiffer, limiting the reader’s field of movement. Perhaps there is a kind of paradox in this, or perhaps not, but the writer’s words, regardless of whatever the adopted conventions of the utterance, are always more subject to analytical and explanatory processes than the words of the publisher, which should be as impersonal as possible and more factographic in nature. With that in mind, let us note how seriously the publisher’s notes written by Stolarczyk model a reading of Różewicz. In the note to Przygotowanie do wieczoru autorskiego (UZ III, Proza 3, 431) we read that that edition was “looked over, corrected and robustly altered.” In the note to the second volume of Poezja (UZ VIII, Poezja 2, 423) we find the remark: “The author made many, sometimes serious, revisions to the texts.” From the note to Volume 3 of Poezja (UZ IX, Poezja 3, 397) we learn that “As in previous volumes of Utwory zebrane, the author has made numerous textual and compositional changes.” The note to Matka odchodzi (UZ XI, 141) informs us that all changes resulted from the fact that Różewicz “has for years had a <dialogue> with his own work.” The note to the book Nasz Starszy Brat contains an important note explaining what this “<dialogue>” is based on. On the fact that Różewicz makes abundant use of his old texts, and “Stary tekst kształtuje zależnie od artystycznych potrzeb [nowej] całości” (An old text shapes a [new] whole dependent on artistic needs, UZ XII, s. 263). How then, one wishes to ask, can Różewicza be published, since he does not leave a work behind him, but a recording of an interrupted – and particular, very radically understood – dialogue?
In the “Publisher’s Note” to the first volume of the Utwore zebrane, we find a statement that in theory should not surprise us or stir an emotional response: “This will not be a critical edition; those require many years of preparation. We intend to provide a solidly edited collection of works carefully looked over by the Author himself” (UZ I, Proza 1, 387). However, in the context of everything we have said so far – as well as what Jan Stolarczyk said in his notes to successive volumes of the Utwore zebrane – this setting aside the publication of a critical edition until a later date sounds almost like a provocation. It is hard to resist a suspicion that such an edition would rather be an “uncritical” one… The notion arises, almost impossible to resist, that a critical edition of Różewicz’s works, particularly his poetry, would somehow be unnecessary, even if it were possible… What would – perhaps – be possible would be a genetic edition, in a sense approximating the one familiar from the French tradition of genetic criticism. Though when we ponder whether that would be presented as a dynamic, diplomatic, or automatic edition, we quickly come to the conclusion that while invoking genetic criticism removes certain problems, it introduces others… Perhaps that is as it must be. For perhaps what Różewicz wants is impossible: he would like for his texts to work the way his manuscripts work; he wants his whole oeuvre to function that way; to constitute a kind of organic whole that expands like a rhizome, in all directions at once, utterly spontaneously, differentiating itself and multiplying in the course of renewed references, connections, and embranchments. There is probably no editorial technique that could illustrate or rather establish the equivalent of this Różewiczean semiosis of sense. Nonetheless, Różewicz persistently searched for such a technique. He searched for forms that could present the image of such semiosis and simultaneously (and probably primarily) constitute a part of it, its manifestation, or perhaps – to be as clear-cut as possible – the space hosting its new growths.
This search has its own history, and that history possesses many explicatory virtues. It begins with work on the book generally considered to be Różewicz’s debut, Niepokój (1947). Różewicz recalls that the poems to be included in it had already gone through “between ten and twenty drafts” (Wbrew sobie [In Spite of Myself], Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2011, 332). At a certain point – it seems clear – the transition from this multiplicity of manuscript versions and the pristine final version published in magazine and book form began quite simply to get blurred, to the point where Różewicz’s books – and later periodicals printing his work as well – began to feature (with gradually increasing frequency) prints of his manuscripts. At the same time, manuscripts, usually made public by the author, began to be worked on by scholars (including L. Śliwonik, T. Kłak, T. Drewnowski, and R. Przybylski). The turning point was Płaskorzeźba, in which the “practice of addition” became in a sense systematized. Though initially the peculiar shape of Płaskorzeźby was viewed – and continues to be, in some quarters, to this day – as a kind of experiment, driven above all by chiefly didactic purposes. Janusz Drzewucki wrote in his review of Płaskorzeźby (one of the best reviews, in fact), that the juxtaposition of so many manuscripts enabled “us to finally be convinced of the poet’s expressive restraint, of his incomparable formal craftsmanship, to become conscious not only of the author’s tremendous artistic work, both aesthetic and intellectual, but also to grasp the weight of his responsibility for each word.” That is all true, but the systematic meaning of Różewicz’s practice – even if its meaning is essentially rather anti-systematic – remains beyond the reach of thought. Perhaps in 1992, when Drzewucki wrote those words, it was still too early… Later, Różewicz began playing his game in earnest. It has not been much remarked that he also doubled “nożyk profesora” (the professor’s penknife, 2001). He placed two versions of that poem in the eponymous book, while two of the five poems in that book he had printed together with facsimiles of their manuscripts in the magazine Twórczość (Creativity). This represents some form of doubling, though it is difficult to speak in an exact sense of a “double book”… Still, the history of the development of his practice of addition, or rather practices of adding and subtracting (for the practice is too varied to be named in the singular or kept separate from its opposite), must remain in outline. It is too tangled. Let us merely add that the auto-commentaries of Różewicz himself play an important role in it. They include some very arresting remarks. For example, in his Dziennik gliwicki (Gliwice Diary; the entry for June 15, 1957) we read: “What my <critics> or <writer colleagues> judged to be <repetition>… when they said: <Tadeusz R. is repeating himself> – was and perhaps still is the most valuable part of all my work. Obstinate reworking, repeating, recovering the same material and continuing … to the end” (UZ XI, 91). As we can see, Różewicz very early became close to the thought that his work is a kind of circling around an ungraspable or absent centre, which is rather created extemporaneously than having a previous existence. Similarly, at the end of Poemat otwarty (Open Poem, 1956), we find the lines: “krążymy / dokoła / lecz nie ma środka” (we circle / about / but there is no centre; UZ VIII, Poezja 2, 19).
From the history of the formation of Różewicz’s practice of addition, there emerge possibilities for conducting its continuation in various directions. What directions? Firstly, there is the art of editing or textology as traditionally understood. Secondly, we have the linguistic theory of the text, in particular the concept of its cohesion (here I have in mind the work of M. T. Mayenowa, T. Dobrzyńska, and others). Thirdly, there are the postmodern concepts of the text, including those of Derrida, Kristeva, and Barthes. Fourthly, there is the idea of the text understood, using a term from the subtitle of John Mowitt’s book, as an “antidisciplinary object.” Fifthly, in terms of connections with the category of the subject understood as the place of intersection or imbrication of text and body. There are many more or less obvious points of transition between the problem of text and the subject, we should point out, in Różewicz’s work. I am not sure, for example, to which of those categories the motif of the hand belongs. Różewicz often speaks of his attachment to something he sometimes calls the manual vista. He underscores that he writes exclusively by hand, never using a typewriter or computer, and that his work on the poem is thus not only intellectual, but also bodily work. Moreover, in his poems we find, for example, images of a hand in some way freeing itself from the will of the author, resisting it, because it wants to write a poem but is held back by the writer’s consciousness (as in “Wiersz,” UZ, Poezja 3, 240-241).
A short observation concerning the first point. In fact, the question of the status of the Różewicz text cannot, in my view, be presented based on or described with the language of textology. At the moment of transition from the author’s work on an unpublished text to the author’s work on a published text, as it if it were a manuscript, textology would seem to become paralyzed. In any case, to the extent that we recognize its aim to be establishing a foundation for publication (with indications of changes to the text if necessary) based on the author’s will, resulting from a strenuous reconstruction of his intention presented in various texts and utterances attributed to him, as well as in other forms of evidence. At the same time, it does not take great powers of discernment to notice that the intention – for all of the differences in how it is perceived – always appears on the basis of textology as a will to unity, i.e., hierarchy and truth.
Let us consider three passages from works by three outstanding Polish textologists. The first is Konrad Górski. In his Tekstologia i edytorstwo dzieł literackich (Textology and Editing of Literary Works) Górski takes no account of a situation in which the author’s will would favour the destruction of the concept of a canonical text rather than its preservation. He goes only as far as accepting that sometimes situations occur in which the “writer’s actual authorial intention” cannot be reasoned out. He then, significantly, invokes the legal principle of impossibilium nulla est obligatio, and states that “such borderline cases which force us to capitulate before difficulties do not authorize the conclusion that the insolvability of certain cases should be a rule and that for the sake of the safety and peace of mind of anxious intellects it is better not to introduce the difference between authorial intention and what passes for such an intention in certain people’s eyes.”
Some equally powerful arguments are made by Roman Loth. In his Podstawowe pojęcia i problemy tekstologii i edytorstwa naukowego (Basic Concepts and Problems of Textology and Scholarly Editing) he writes: “There are some authors who constantly make improvements to their works, in each new published version, in each new edition. The editor, however, must find the point he considers to be basic to the work’s impact and take the state of the work in that particular stage of its evolution for the finished form. At that point, the creative process is artificially cut short by the author – that precise point determines how the work will read in the main framework of the published edition; that point delimits the basis of its printed form. Everything that comes before and after that point reaches publication in a different form– in the form of work on other variants or alternate versions.”
For his part, Zbigniew Goliński observes: “the authorial text of a particular work may exist in numerous variants (as text) in both phases of its existence: before publication and after publication. In the first situation, the evolution of the text as it takes place in the course of the work’s formation can be seen as a normal phenomenon, and then we speak of concepts, sketches, drafts, various versions, etc., whereas in the second situation, when the author changes the text of the work in successive published versions, we usually say that the author has a living relationship to his own work or to the piece of work in question, which amounts to something like a theoretical generalization.”
A brief comment is warranted. Górski perceives certain concerns, but that motivates him to make a greater effort. He strengthens editors’ self-assurance by making them enforcers of the law, after which he expounds against “anxious intellects,” i.e., those who lack the will to undertake the struggle for the sole and proper form of the text. Loth, as if warmed for battle, in a situation where the author scandalously renounces his right to establish the final version of the text or frivolously (or perhaps anxiously) forgets to do so (in the course of endlessly “improving upon” his work), hands more or less total authority to the editor. It is the editor who replaces the author, and in some sense acts in his name. Because clearly the editor, or the law, in the final analysis knows better than the author what the latter should want and what he should focus on. Next, Goliński designates the situation wherein the author changes the text after publication as abnormal (not in so many words, but opposing it, as “the second” situation, to the first, “normal” one) and (ironically?) describes it as a manifestation of the author’s “living relationship to his own work […].” He describes that definition (again ironically?) as “amount[ing] to something like a theoretical generalization.”
Tadeusz Różewicz, then, is an author who “has a living relationship to his own work […].” That could sum up this entire essay, and not strictly ironically. Let us add another reflection to that thought, however (we are discussing additions, after all). We asked earlier what Różewicz actually adds in his practices of addition, thereby suggesting that he adds as much as he subtracts in that process; or that he does two things simultaneously; or that the one activity cannot be differentiated from the other. At the same time, the first move, and thus in a sense the privileged one, is addition. Of these practices, the most important one is adding a different iteration of a poem to its existing printed iteration, so that it is no longer clear which one is the hypostasis. In a word: adding the same poem to the same poem causes the poem to begin to differ from itself. Różewicz’s original, in other words, enters into relations with itself, and the whole situation resembles the relations that an original enjoys with its translations.
That original, when it enters into relations with itself, postulates a new language or a new textology. This is because the textology whose underlying concepts arose based on the relations existing before the publication of the canonical founding text cannot be transferred to the relations that develop after its publication. What was before and what is after are only superficially similar situations. But that does not change the fact that they should be considered together: and therein lies the trouble. Contemporary media scholarship could doubtless offer useful help here, but that is a separate issue.
Here I should address yet another kind of “addition”: photographs and drawings. For example, the photograph of a young, naked, dead female prisoner lying in the snow before a camp barracks on the title pages of nożyk profesora, altered so that the title is contained within the photograph, which in turn begins to resemble a nude painting. Fortunately, the subject has already been written about, interestingly and incisively, and I can simply direct readers to those writings.
Let us end with an anecdote. Różewicz tells it himself in his book Margines, ale… (Margin, but…; Wrocław 2011, 272): “I once asked Professor Tadeusz Kłak, if I could rewrite and correct my old poems… He replied with a smile: <A poet – while he lives – has the right to make changes, corrections, but… he shouldn’t.> “Why?” I asked, “after all the original texts exist and are available to scholars and readers. To everyone. For example, I read the poem “Pożegnanie” [Farewell] – one of my favorite poems (I wrote it in ‘45 or ‘46): <Myślała / że świat jest smutny / dokoła / że kwiaty są smutne i deszcz / że smutek się zagnieździł / w szorstkiej wełnie / pachnącej rezedą> [She thought / the world was sad / all around / that flowers were sad and rain / that sadness held sway / in the rough wool / smelling of mignonette](I meant, not ‘wool,’ but woolen clothing). Years later, I changed mignonette to lavender, but a few months later I crossed out lavender and put back mignonette […].” It is a beautiful parable, we might say. Even more beautiful– and meaningful – in that it exists in two parallel versions.
translated by Timothy Williams
The essay focuses on the operations to which Tadeusz Różewicz submits his (poetic and other) texts. These involve various kinds of transformations, as a result of which Różewicz’s poems become multiple texts and are revealed to be, in a sense, variants with no clear “original.” Skrendo describes the ways in which these transformations take place and considers their consequences.
 Tadeusz Różewicz, Selected Poems, trans. A. Czerniawski, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie 1991, 145.
 See the essay “Szczególny rodzaj nieprzekładalności” (A Specific Kind of Untranslatability) in my book Przodem Różewicz (Różewicz In Front), Warszawa: Instytut Badań Literackich, 2012.
 See my work “Przepisywanie ‘Niepokoju’ z Przodem Różewicz…” (Rewriting Anxiety with Różewicz in Front…).
 T. Różewicz, Historia pięciu wierszy, Wrocław: Biuro Literackie 2011, 100.
 The book was written by Tadeusz with this brother Stanisław, a film director. Its subject is the third Różewicz brother, Janusz, a talented young poet and conspirator killed by the Gestapo during the war.
 J. Drzewucki, “Poezja jest jak śmierć” (Poetry Is Like Death), in: Smaki słowa, Szkice o poezji (Word Flavors. Essays on Poetry), Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, 1999, 46.
 Twórczość 2000, no. 10.
 Jonathan Culler’s essay “Text: Its Vicissitudes” in his book The Literary in Theory (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007, 99-116) provides a good introduction to this problem.
 John Mowitt, Text: The Genealogy of an Antidsciplinary Object, Durham: Duke University Press 1992.
 K. Górski, Tekstologia i edytorstwo dzieł literackich, Toruń: Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, 2011, 35.
 R. Loth, Podstawowe pojęcia i problemy tekstologii i edytorstwa naukowego, Warszawa: Instytut Badań Literackich PAN, 2006, 59.
 Z. Goliński, “O problemie tekstu kanonicznego w edytorstwie” (On the Problem of the Canonical Text in Editing), Pamiętnik Literacki 1967, 4, 444-445.
 H. Marciniak, “Wizualna przestrzeń postpamięci. Poetyka sekundarnego świadectwa w ‘nożyku profesora’ Tadeusza Różewicza” (The Visual Space of Post-Memory. The Poetics of Secondary Testimony in Tadeusz Różewicz’s nożyk profesora), Wielogłos 2013, no. 1; Marciniak, “Obraz fotograficzny – między archiwum a pozorem. Fotografie ‘nożyka profesora’ Tadeusza Różewicza” (The Photographic Image—Between Archive and Appearance. Photographs of Tadeusz Różewicz’s nożyk profesora), Przestrzenie Teorii 2014, (21); Mark Zaleski’s contribution to the discussion “Jak wyśpiewać sekcję zwłok?” (How to Sing an Autopsy?) Res Publica Nowa 2001, no. 7, 80; B. Krupa, “Ciało róży. Fotograficzne reprezentacje Zagłady w ‘nożyku profesora’” (The Body of the Rose. Photographic Representations of the Holocaust in nożyk profesora), in: Niepokoje. Twórczość Tadeusza Różewicza wobec zagłady (Anxieties. The Work of Tadeusz Różewicz and the Holocaust), Warszawa: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny, 2014.
 Różewicz, Margines, ale… (Margin, but…), Wrocław: Biuro Literackie, 2010, 272.
 Here is the second one: “I once asked Professor Tadeusz Kłak, if I could rewrite my old poems… He replied with a smile: <A poet – while he lives – has the right to make changes, corrections, but… he shouldn’t.> “Why?” I asked, “after all the original texts exist and are available to scholars and readers… as well as sleuths, judges and hangmen… For example, I read the poem “Pożegnanie” [Farewell] – one of my favorite poems (I wrote it in 1945 or 1946): <Myślała / że świat jest smutny / dokoła / że kwiaty są smutne i deszcz / że smutek się zagnieździł / w szorstkiej wełnie / pachnącej rezedą> [She thought / the world was sad / all around / that flowers were sad and rain / that sadness held sway / in the rough wool / smelling of mignonette](I meant, not ‘wool,’ but woolen clothing). Over the years I changed mignonette to lavender… not long ago – I crossed out mignonette and wrote in lavender, but a few months later I crossed out lavender and put back mignonette.” See Tadeusz Różewicz. Doctor honoris causa Universitatis Silesiensis. Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 1999, 32–33.