narrator meets are intended to representnparticular figures in Polish intellectualncircles (often ones with whom Konwicki,na filmmaker as well as a writer, has disagreements).nYet the identities of thesenpeople and the precise nature of thenquarrels will remain closed to mostnreaders. A longer introduction thannRichard Lourie’s two pages of useftil commentsnwould help Konwicki’s work receiventhe wider readership it deserves innthis country; even so, obstacles wouldnremain. We need, for example, to knownmore about the political situation of intellectualsnin Poland, and especially ofnthe position of Konwicki in regard to thenauthorities; but knowing the names ofnhis targets is not likely to make morenmeaningfiil to an American audience thenauthor’s frequent thrusts at other Polishncultural figures. Fortunately, the suspensenin the plot and the graphic nature of thenexposure of the depredations of totalitarianismnhold the attention of readersnpuzzled by certain encounters.nKonwicki’s mixture of straightfonrardnrealism with satirical exaggeration—^notnin itself an unusual technique—has aboutnit a deadpan quality that, given our likelynignorance about Polish life, makes it notnalways clear where the depiction of dismalnreality ends and satiric fentasy starts.nAt times the demarcation is clear: thennotorious party habit of manipulatingnstatistics to fijlfill five-year plans and then. like becomes, in Konvwcki’s novel, entirelynsurreal—nobody knows even thencorrect day, month, or year. But, for example,ndo Poles usually watch televisednparty-propaganda binges with the soundnofl? In a world ^^ilere official lies are bothnpervasive and transparent, this seemsnplausible, though one cannot be sure itnis not another satiric touch.nVJeneratitig the strength as well asnthe difficulties of the book is a fierce immediacy,na desire, as simple and as old asnthe novel itself, to know and tell thentruth. Such urgency breaks through distinctionsnbetween essay and prose fiction,nrealism and fantasy. Truth of anynsort—whether simple fectual accuracy.nm^m’^Sm^mnQ’f^^^n^ I PL 9 Wl^Mi V ijx^nV^^^^!^^ 1 iVv * roHn’^^^jjiCflrJ^’y^^^n^WTJ^ Xnw i 1 Jk’ ‘* /n’fc / i^/nThe Cilories of ComitynAnions rhc iiiioink’ ^m^ ili:it (.-ilir.s aniln|iiihlisl’K.->< llif V’i/Uif’e ‘iticc, one- mannM-t-nis to ll^ ((I .stand ahovc flu- iinhridk-ilnrapL- of (.’oinmon >nisc and noriiialiM.’ni-tliif.s in it.s pajji’s. I li.s natm- is Jack .Ni-wtK’ldnand. on od’asUin. he nianif’i-M(.’dnsonu’ dcli-ri-ncf to rlu’ noiioiiM ol’ inU’lk’C’liialnand political rainii.-s.s. No longi-r.nliach Ntiwnibtr .Mr. NL-wticId}; called “Ncwlij’ld’.s XniiLulnThanksgiv in}: Honor Koll,” in which henroiitini-ly laiiil.s creeps; Imwexer. up lonnow. he al\as trietl to eonie up withnOIK- or two names de.serin” a modieiimnof respect. In I’JS.^. he did not deiaienfrom the routine (Ihe worst ireep Scymoin” llersh ). hiil in thennoncrecp calc};or. he };:ie a wrili–Lip tonone ol’liis awardi’cs which indiiies us tonsuspect that weoerrali’d Mr Newlield’.snLIBERA!. Cl LTl’Rr: 1nnnahilily to rise aliove Ihe ordinary aiilirea.sonnthiij^nerN’ per|ii-l rated hy VVon anweekly rxtolling.Sen. Tdward Keiini-dn(posiliely a vmcreep) (or di’lierinj;nhis well-piihlici/eil speech at IU-‘.nJerry l-alwi-M’s Liheity Uaptisi Colk-ge.nMr. iNewtield writes:nKeiineiK. on tluil niglit. deli’iTed thensingle (iriMlesl s|iteeli b) J modernnpuliiieiaii I liiive ever ie;id . . . |he|n.spoke ill sLippciri oriiniMrsal allies,nand was not a liiiiiud iriiiiipetcill Kianiiherai omsiitueney. In die hihlii:!!nlions tli-n. .iiiJiissinK “(100 skepliealnsmdeiKs. Kennedy spoki’ I’or rcli^fioiisndoiihl. ili’i’i’sil). lolenuice, ileiiKK’niey.naet.s ol eonseieiUf. ilissini. Ilii- IKA. aminilii- niielear Iree/e. Me i|iioted I’,nPope John, and die Jilh Cliapier ofn.Malllieu. •i\eni> ears Ironi now lliisnspeeeli will he piihlLslud in :uilholo};ii’.s.naloni^siik- ilie li’deralisi l’:ipei’si>l Madinson. I.ini’oln’s (ieU’shiir}> JIKInII)l<‘shrsi Inaiij-ural .Xiklress.nlint siraii};i-l-. .!r. i-wfield iifnv notnone single word of to those “.()()()nMoral Majority skeptics who polileU applaudedn.Sen. Keiined>s word.s iljat iindouhtedlynsounded (jiiile at odd.s. It’ to their own heliels and com ictioii.s.n;uitl who. iherehy. g:ive a!e.s.son ahout ideological, cultural, andnpolitical pluralism to.Vn. Kennedy’sownnconstitueni”‘ ai Harvard. Manlord. ‘^’ale.nor whiTeer. Ix’fore which ajerr Vieinherger. or a Kirkpatrick hai- noncivil or human right to speak their minds.nIn an adjacent paragraph. Mr. Newlieldnconrersa laurel on Congressman KicharilnOltingiT (positively a creep) hailing himn;LS being:n…inioii}; (he do/en hesi nieinliersorihen1 louse orUepiesenuiliws w lien ii comesnlo lieiiding|io\er louaril liuni.ine v.iliies.nNo wonder thai .Mr. Newliekl idoli/i-snKi-p. ()tlinger Ihex’ are partners in pliabilityn\ ill) ri-spect to ihi- wa that ilie’ r^visln:ind contort humane Milues that aren’tncorrectly coikil or labeled for listing onntill- libiral agi’iida. L.Jnil3nFebruary 1984n