Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Sylwia Chutnik


Sylwia Chutnik, who has been looking out at us from numerous magazine covers and newspaper interviews over the last few months, is a feminist and a radical. She also likes punk and wrote a book called A Pocket Atlas of Women, which is actually very good. Depressing as all hell of course but a welcome antidote to the second rate glitter of self-obsessed award ceremonies that seem to take up so much time on television. Here’s a rough and ready (I have no dictionary to hand, for example) translation. I’ve put in italics those words that were in English in the original and have not been thoroughly borrowed into Polish:

“Madwomen have annual international conferences during which they discuss their rights while eating the wonderful catered food. There are special Power Point presentations, identity badges and special folders containing didactic materials. The madwomen give talks in which they sum up their fucked up lives. They complain about the paucity of EU funding, murderous tax regulations and the low level of social awareness in the area of work-life-madness balance. Madwomen have their own clubs, chatrooms, discussion forums, their own subculture, language and interests. Mańka from Ochota, then, is a part of the global society of madwomen, hysterics saints, suicides and damned. Even still, she feels lonely and empty. That’s the way it is when the Housewife is cut off from her natural environment of crumbs and dust.”

And in a further break with Polish tradition, Chutnik seems to be able to avoid the temptation of dropping brand names. She writes “a collection of toys from egg surprises.” I don’t know if a male Polish intellectual writer could have restrained himself from writing “kindersurprise.”

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