Wojciech Tochman; axiology; literature journalism; ethics; existence
Sensus Historiae, Vol. 31 (2018), s. 143-156
The literature journalism what with its nature is not especially predisposed to philosophical meditation. Thus, it is all the more reasonable to look more carefully at the works of Wojciech Tochman, one of the most interesting Polish journalists, continuing the tradition of literature journalism. Tochman’s literary output comprises: three assemblages of reportage, touching upon (generally speaking) social topics, one documentary novel, two books describing the genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda as well as the novel about the hell of the everyday life in Onyx: one of the poorest districts of Manila.
The subject of Tochman’s interest itself does not match the artistic level of his works. Tochman is not interested in telling about the “other world,” the reality the reader knows nothing about. What is the passion of the author of Eli Eli is the human being. He asks what man’s position in the modern world is and what defines this world. One can analyze two existential aspects of Tochman’s prose.
The first and a more palpable is the misery of his heroes’ existence directly recorded at different levels. Impressed by the nature of evil, he shows its different features: sometimes it is presented as a history (for example that of a war), but more often as a timeless individual part of every human being. Tochman many times returns to problematics of such a heavy struggle like telling the story about other people’s experience in extreme situations and moral dilemmas created by the experience.
The second, and of equal weight, aspect of his prose is deeply incorporated in his texts; the consciousness of the literature journalist’s ethical mission/responsibility for his works and its influence on the world.