The main thread running through this year’s 30th edition of the festival has been Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, originally published in 1953. In his futuristic vision, Bradbury imagined a world without books, a world in which all forms of literature, art, philosophy as well as all individual, independent and liberal thinking, feeling and acquisition of knowledge are banned.
Karol Nienartowicz’s photos of a breakwater in the Baltic Sea in Gdansk, like Auggie Wren’s photos of the same corner in Brooklyn, Cézanne’s Mont Saeinte-Victoire, are a reminder of how the act of repetition is essential to the human condition.
From a daily routine to a motif in art, repetition is an act of survival, a desire for affirmation.
On my way towards the Main Square, while looking down at the wet cobblestones I noticed I was dressed all in black. Had I forgotten? Yes, I did. Still, I crossed the Cloth Hall, and in an act of solidarity blended into the blackness.
A daunting admonition from one of the masters of sci-fi literature about the relationship between robots and mankind as we advance into a future where science fiction becomes just science. As Kraków celebrates Stanisław Lem’s 95th anniversary, his work remains proof of the foretelling nature of the genre and the far-reaching effects that literature can have in our lives and our society.