autor: Magdalena Kobis - du Sabre
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Emilka, dzieki

Despite living in France for the last18 years, deep in her heart, Magdalena Kobis is still Polish, Tarnovian, to be more specific. A publishing house Poligraf from Poznan, under the patronage of the Tarnovian Section of the Society of Polish Authors has recently published Magdalena‘s first Polish languge book , 'A hole in a shoe'. Zeus skull series”.

Some time ago, Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish fantasy writer, said that 'for a writer, imagination is a necessity; one is not able to write, if s/he cannot imagine it first'. If one has difficulties with imagination, s/he cannot be a writer“.
“A hole in a shoe” is proof that for Magdalena Kobis imagination is not a problem; she confesed: “Somehow, I do like my imagination dishevelled like octopuses arms”.

The latest book by this author from Menton, talks about a difficult subjects, even controversial. During a conversation we had, she admitted that the plot concerns mental illnesses as seen through the eyes of a mentally ill person. The action takes place in Paris, in Salpetière mental hospital, which, as emphasised in the prolog “has risen from the ashes and on these ashes stormed throughout light-years: from shooting powder, which gave its name and identity, to its modern name recollecting a colloquial term for psychoactive substances in French”.

In a few sentences Magdalena Kobis introduces a pogniant history of Salpetière hospital, beginning from facts, that in 1656, this grey building was transformed into a shelter for poor, criminals and prostitutes, who were kept restrained in shackles. Almost all of the inmates died from hunger and cold, falling down naked on stone floors. In XVII century Louis XIV organised ‘a ball for the insane” in this very building.
Although ten years later two French doctors – Pinel and Pussin, issued a decree to ban the shackles rule, the shackles lingered in Kobis memory - as if by writing this book she wanted to ‘break the mental shackles of sterotypes and myths about mental illnesses like schisopfrenia.

“Cause, what does a word ‘schizophrenia’ mean today?” – probes Magdalena Kobis. It inflicts anxiety: an insane person is called a psychopath, a sociopath s/he is portrayed as the one running around the house holding an axe.
I’m smiling while thinking about it. Myself – an insane one – if I had an axe, I would do the same as I did ten, fifteen years ago.
I would smash Zeus’es skull.”

‘A hole in a shoe’ is a very engaging read as the writer avoids complicated sentences intended to add snobbish sophistication to prose. Her writing is smooth, she incorporates metaphorical imagaes created by comparisons and reffrences to high brow literature and pop culture.
You can imagine those ‘terminators’, who “sees everything”, those wearing white kittles and plastic shoes - starting from prof Allard, doctor Rebastard, nurses and to a person, who mopped Magda’s floors.

Hospital market’ as Magdalena Kobis called planning process of getting ‘forbidden’ packet of cigarets, was described like a movie scenario. “It begins like this – convey the author. – Who can go out for walks? Ramzi. Who has E10? Benio. Who knows the hospital area and knows where to find the closest shop where cigarents are sold? Florka. The plan seemed to be real: Florka will draw the easiest and fastest way out off the grounds of the hospital, Benio will donate E10, and Ramzi will finalise it during his walk. Unfortunatelly this masterplan was ruined by the discovery that Ramzi indeed could go out for walks however, not alone but in a company of a staff member.”

All persons described in Magdalena Kobis book are authentic. There was a real hole in the authors shoe when she was admitted to the ‘grey building’ a few years ago. When she started the creative process of writing the book, she had only a few pages of her notes. But when she faced a virgin Word page, she decided to divide the story into parts and that’s how an idea for ‘Zeuses skull’ was born.
‘A hole in a shoe’ is its introductory part – a book that two Polish publishing houses were fighting for the rights to publish it.
Skilful observation of the world, visual drawing of the reality, deep analysis of behaviours and attitudes of the characters of the book are definitely a strength of a wrting workshop of this Sorbona’s alumni and can secure her a place in the European literature.

The author already announced the second part of the series entitled ‘A man with a piece of a heart. This book is a ready movie scenario, but this idea needs good will, funding and a producer and viewers as well, but I am very confident there will be plenty interested.

Emilia Marchlewska

sobota, 31 października 2015, madau

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  • biblioteka pod marcepanem - dziekuje :)

    Najprawdziwsza. "Dziura w bucie" Magdalena Kobis źródło Skończyłam. Pomimo natłoku nauki, strachu przed egzaminami, dwunastu godzin na praktykach w szpitalu.

  • wywiad

    MAGDALENA KOBIS – tarnowianka z przekonania, mieszka na stałe we Francji. Jest absolwentką paryskiej Sorbony. Należy do Oddziału Tarnowskiego Stowarzysze