Rocznik Komparatystyczny

ISSN: 2081-8718     eISSN: 2353-2831     DOI: 10.18276/rk.2018.9-06
CC BY-SA   Open Access 

Lista wydań / 9 (2018)
Anthony Bukoski – An Outpost of Polishness

Rok wydania:2019
Liczba stron:16 (103-118)
Słowa kluczowe: komparatystyka literacka Anthony Bukoski literatura amerykańska literatura polsko-amerykańska Polonia regionalizm narodowość pamięć kulturowa
Autorzy: John A. Merchant
Loyola University Chicago


Isolated both geographically and psychologically, the Polish American writer Anthony Bukoski in his five collections of stories, Twelve Below Zero (1986, 2008), Children of Strangers (1993), Polonaise (1999), Time Between Trains (2003), and North of the Port (2008), as well as a collection of reissued stories Head of the Lakes (2018), assumes a variety of interrelated roles – chronicler, cultural archeologist, coastal guardsman, and spokesman – for the dwindling Polish community in his hometown of Superior, Wisconsin. Bukoski’s stories capture the distinct relationship between people and place in Superior, situated as it is the periphery of American life in northern Wisconsin. His stories shed light on the struggle to preserve a sense of Polishness, of community, in the face of isolation in the ethnically indistinct landscape of the Upper Midwest while living in a blue collar community that is aging and diminishing over time. Bukoski not only advocates for the right for this community to receive literary treatment, but he also takes on the many-faceted role of chronicler in attempting to preserve its struggles, enduring emotional markers, and memory. By defending and preserving, remembering and traversing, Bukoski creates an outpost of Polishness that captures a uniquely Polish space in the vast wilderness of the American cultural landscape. While his stories present a world that is vanishing before his eyes, he makes a case for its permanent inclusion on the American cultural and literary map.
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