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THE STEFAN GRABINSKI WEBSITE

"Grabinski's stories are passionate, intense, and hallucinatorily vivid--even at times overwrought. They are all genuine stories, to grip devotees of narrative and character, as well as of philosophising." -- China Mieville

 

 

LATEST NEWS

November 27, 2014

Just published! Stefan Grabinski's novelette of Venice, "Passion."

In June 1927, the supreme Polish fantastist, Stefan Grabinski (1887-1936), took a rare excursion outside of his country in a planned Italian itinerary that was to include Rome, Naples, Capri and even Sicily. The first stop on his trip was Venice. Here he met a fellow Pole, Stefania Kalinowska. Little is known about his relationship with Kalinowska, but what is known is that Grabinski returned to Venice, after stopping in Rome, and spent the rest of his vacation with her in the city of canals, foot bridges and ornate architecture. Grabinski did admit to certain autobiographical features in "Passion," which he began and finished in Venice, and it’s very probable that he saw, and investigated, someone who was the basis for one of his most memorable characters, Gina Vamparone. As to the romantic entanglements found in the story, it is up to the reader to imagine what the reality may have been in Grabinski’s life.

Freed by the beautiful and languid atmosphere of Venice, "Passion" became Grabinski’s longest shorter prose work. As is typical in Grabinski’s stories, strange elements enter into the lives of his characters, and "Passion" is no exception, making the story one of his most intriguing and haunting works.

Available on Amazon.com

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December 14, 2013

The paperbound edition of THE MOTION DEMON is now available at Amazon.com. The previous edition of this translation, published in hardcover by Canada's Ash-Tree Press, cost nearly $50, while this paperbound edition is at a much lower price. This is the first publication in the United States of a Grabinski short story volume. Click here to order.

Grabinski's "The Wandering Train" is now online as part of DIABOLIQUE MAGAZINE's "Exhumation Collection." Entry portal here.

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August 24, 2013

THE DARK DOMAIN, from publisher Dedalus, has received a third printing. I was asked to suggest a cover and sent Dedalus a short list of possible artwork, from which Luigi Russolo's "Self Portrait" was chosen. Available from Amazon. com. (Link lists third edition, but cover is not shown yet.)

Grabinski's "Szamota's Mistress" was selected to be a part of the exquisitely produced THE PURPLE BOOK: SENSUALITY AND SYMBOLISM IN CONTEMPORARY ART AND ILLUSTRATION. Grabinski is in fine company with such writers as Poe, Bataille and James Joyce. Available from Amazon.com. (Currently discounted almost $20.)

Grabinski's "Nuptial Flames" is part of the massive FUNGI #21, edited by Pierre V. Comtois. This large-size paperbound book is over 400 pages in length and much recommended. The Grabinski story just came in under the deadline and is its first English publication. The translation had premiered on the Grabinski Facebook page, but now is only available via the new number of FUNGI. Available from Amazon.com

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May 5, 2013

The BIG news of this update is that I've been contracted by Centipede Press to do a huge Grabinski collection in the press' "Masters of the Weird Tale" series. This will be the most comprehensive book of Grabinski's short stories ever published, containing at least 40 stories, of which eight or so will be first translations. Included will be two essays on fantastic fiction that Grabinski wrote, as well as a major introduction that will be, in effect, the short book on Grabinski that I was planning and had even started on. I believe the tome will eventually be as highly collectable as Arkham House's first Lovecraft book, THE OUTSIDER AND OTHERS, particularly as I don't see some of the material appearing in another collection any time soon after the Centipede volume is published. Publication will probably be in 2015, so you have time to save your dollars or euros!

Meanwhile, Heiroglyphic Press' newest issue of SACRUM REGNUM has been published with the Grabinski tale "Red Magda" from his THE BOOK OF FIRE collection. Order here. Another publication, POE FOREVERMORE, should have a new issue out soon containing Grabinski's "The Mark" from THE INSANE PILGRIM. And I'm currently planning a limited edition publication of a Grabinski novelette. More on this in a future update.

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January 25, 2013

It took a while to get out of the gate (the magazine was suppose to premiere before Halloween), but the first issue of POE FOREVERMORE, published and edited by Mark Redfield, has already seen the light of day and the darkness of subscribers' mailboxes. The issue contains my translation of Grabinski's "Conflagration Site," taken from his THE BOOK OF FIRE collection. I haven't had the chance to read the magazine, but it's very handsomely produced, with glossy paper and a superb cover. A wonderful idea to create a Poe magazine. The gentleman certainly deserves it! To get your copy or a subscription, head over to: www.poeforevermore.com/subscribe.html

So far, of the nine stories that comprise THE BOOK OF FIRE, three have seen publication: "Vengeance of the Elementals" in THE DARK DOMAIN, "The White Wyrak," most recently in THE WEIRD anthology, and now "Conflagration Site" in the Poe magazine. I'm currently finishing off another story from this collection, "Red Magda," for the next issue of Hieroglyphic Press' SACRUM REGNUM.

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December 29, 2012

November saw the release of the first Italian collection of Grabinski stories, IL VILLAGIO NERO, translated by Andrea Bonazzi. The book is available from the Italian Amazon.com. A lovely video promotion was made for this collection:

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It should be noted that the mammoth collection THE WEIRD, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, won the World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology of 2012. Grabinski's short story "The White Wyrak" was included in the volume.

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Weird Fiction Review did an inteview with yours truly that can be read here.

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Sept 30, 2012

ON THE HILL OF ROSES has garnered many positive reviews so far. I will have snippets of these reviews up in the "Reviews" section, hopefully by next week. Don't forget to order your copy of this limited edition book before it sells out!

On the Hill of Roses (Hieroglyphic Press)

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June 29, 2012

Boxes filled with On the Hill of Roses arrive at Hieroglyphic Press.

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June 9, 2012

On the Hill of Roses, Stefan Grabinski's first "official" short story collection (he had previously published a collection under a nom-de-plume, Stefan Zalny), is due soon for release by Hieroglyphic Press. Contents include translations of all the stories published in the original Polish edition, plus a bonus story, "Projections." I've done some minor revisions of the translations of individual stories that have previously appeared in print. For instance, "Strabismus" adds a line and half a line that were inadvertently left out of The Dark Domain collection, and several words and phrases, which were diluted during the editing of that story for the collection, have been returned to their original intent and meaning.

This seven story collection, in a jacketed hardcover limited to 300, can be ordered at this link.

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I am currently working on several Grabinski projects. The one that will probably be actualized first is an English translation of Grabinski's The Book of Fire (Ksiega ognia). This 1922 collection deals exclusively with the element of fire, just as The Motion Demon collection dealt exclusively with the world of trains.

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The Dark Domain, published by Dedalus Ltd, is now available as an e-book from Amazon.com. The Dark Domain was the first English translated book of Grabinski's short stories, back in 1993, and received much critical acclaim when published and a good number of new admirers of the author, including China Mieville.

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The Weird, A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, is now available in the United States from Tor Books. This massive collection of weird fiction, one of the largest, if not the largest, ever assembled, contains Grabinski's "The White Wyrak." Available in three formats from Amazon.com: hardcover, paperbound, and Kindle.

Stefan Grabinski (1887-1936) is often referred to as "The Polish Poe," but his works exhibit a trajectory of being impactingly original, entering into what he called psychofantasy or metafantasy. Grabinski explored the mysteries of life and human nature in the fiction he wrote. Much of his work deals with such themes as the power of thought, the vital energy of life, and sexuality. His characters tend to be mavericks and misfits, intellectually and psychologically intense. But even these attributes do not guarantee salvation. For those who are naively complacent, the situation is even more perilous.

Though he was regularly published in Poland and received attention for his train collection, Demon ruchu (The Motion Demon), Grabinski remained a marginal figure in his native land and was not part of any fashionable literary school or clique. Upon his death in 1936 (from tuberculosis), he was almost completely forgotten.

In the late 1950s, light began to shine again on his work, spearheaded by Professor Artur Hutnikiewicz's literary study, Tworczosc literacka Stefana Grabinskiego, and a 294-page collection of Grabinski stories published by Czytelnik. In 1975 renowned science fiction author Stanislaw Lem, an admirer of Grabinski, would edit his own edition of Grabinski's stories. The late 1980s saw the publication of several Grabinski volumes in German translation, and in 1993 Dedalus Ltd published the first English-translated Grabinski collection, The Dark Domain. Since then, there has been a gradual international appreciation of his work. Lately, Polish admirers have been leading the efforts in Grabinskiana, and new Polish editions of long-unavailable, even rare, writings are appearing with thankful rapidity. In Poland, these admirers have declared 2012 "The Year of Grabinski." Grabinski is now being rightfully recognized as one of the most unique voices in supernatural fiction.

 

 


Cover of the 1922 Polish edition of
Grabinski's The Book of Fire, the book
I'm currently translating.
(Update: I've revised my plans and am
working on the collection that preceded
The Book of Fire: The Insane Pilgrim.
Translations from The Book of Fire
will see print in various magazines before
book publication.
)

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Reviews for ON THE HILL OF ROSES, with links to fuller online reviews:

"This lovingly-produced hardcover is only the second collection by early 20th-century Polish author Stefan Grabinski to be translated into English. This highly literary, undeniably poetic volume brims with tales of undead women, evil-inducing places, doomed protagonists, alien intruders, ominous shadows and Satanic nuns, and, if that doesn't sell you, it's tonally similar to the dense, philosophical horror of Thomas Ligotti." -- Dejan Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue Magazine

"I cannot recommend strongly enough this offbeat, excellent book which provides the reader with the rare opportunity to make the acquaintance of an exceptionally interesting author still largely unknown in the Anglophone world." -- Mario Guslandi, The British Fantasy Society

"Within the pages of this book the readers will find stunning depictions of human life, morbid tragedies and seducing weirdness. As a big fan of quality horror and dark fiction, I must say that On the Hill of Roses is one of the best horror short story collections available at this moment, because it contains beautiful prose and frightening happenings which will appeal to fans of dark fantasy and horror." -- Seregil of Rhiminee, Risingshadow

"Grabinski is like no other writer you will encounter. His work is evocative and disturbing. He plumbs inner depths of perception to discover rot and horror. The stink of death is never far, but it is his language, with which he explores worlds both internal and external, that is outstanding. These are not stories in which a turn of plot reveals a hidden trap or truth, but rather, prose examinations of reality. Lipinski's translations never feel translated; he lets Grabinski's poetry seep into the reader's mind, lets it burrow like a worm into a corpse. Truth will emerge, never pleasant, but ever powerful." -- Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column

"On the Hill of Roses offers a number of delightfully old-school tales of the dark fantastic and chilly horrific which, at the beginning of the 20th century, created the missing link towards such later practitioners in the similar vein, like Robert Aickman and Thomas Ligotti. If you like them, you should definitely treat yourself with some Grabinski. He looms like a shadow from out of time and from behind the iron curtain – a spicy, exotic, Slavic Catholic taste of horror for demanding palates. His doom and gloom will certainly be refreshing in the midst of the feelgood light entertainment that passes for 'horror' these days." -- Dejan Ognjanovic, The Temple of Ghoul

" If the uncanny of Eastern Europe has yet to come under your radar, this is as good a place as any to start. Grabinski, at least, was one ahead of the game." -- Mark Andresen, The Pan Review

"Grabinski's work has gradually been appearing from independent and small presses over the last couple of decades. This quiet renascence of interest allows us to appreciate the late and strange flowerings of a sombre but exquisite Symbolist.... The stories will appeal to all connoisseurs of the fantastic and decadent in European literature." -- Mark Valentine, Wormwoodiana

On the Hill of Roses can be purchased directly from Hieroglyphic Press

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English translations available from Amazon.com

The Dark Domain

The Dark Domain (Kindle)

The Motion Demon

On the Hill of Roses (Hieroglyphic Press)

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A selection of book publications in other countries:


Germany


Germany


Germany


Turkey


Portugal


Italy

 


This website is run by Miroslaw Lipinski, the principal translator of Stefan Grabinski's work since 1988. His translations have been collected in The Dark Domain (Dedalus, 1993), The Motion Demon (Ash-Tree Press, 2005), and On the Hill of Roses (Hieroglyphic Press, 2012). Publishers and others can contact him at mirelski@aol.com

This page was set in motion on January 9, 2012, with a hold page preceding it on January 7.

Original content copyright by M. Lipinski, webmaster and translator