Newton’s Orange

Ewa Lipska
Newton’s Orange
  • Wydawnictwo Literackie
    Kraków 2007
    125 x 205
    86 pages
    ISBN 978-83-08-04121-5
    Translation rights: Wydawnictwo Literackie

In "Newton’s Orange" Ewa Lipska itemises images of the post-industrial and post-historical world – instead of the earth’s orb we have “the earth’s billiard ball”, witnesses to history are the people from “the local chip shop”, and in the “fast-service theatre” we are on “MacHamlet’s stage”. Presenting a shrunken, reduced, and at the same time hyperreal world is Lipska’s speciality. This time she places more emphasis than usual on categories such as fate, transience and infinity, doing it with her characteristic linguistic discipline and metaphorical shorthand.
What Lipska draws attention to most in her writing is the ambiguous power of the cliché. She casts a ready-made net of language over reality, indicating that we live in a world that has always been talked about. As we sit between two sources of tension within her poetry – aiming for unique language and acceptance of a pattern – we might wonder what is the purpose of blending two orders in this way, the creative order (which is innovative, breaks language norms and draws attention to the singularity of the person speaking) and the derivative order (which picks up stereotypes and imitates various rhetorical tones, from the technical to the religious). At the limit of each of them are the results of failing to communicate and the conviction that it is impossible to say anything about one’s own experience. This sense of impotence arises from the fact that our experience is expressed in code language, or stereotype language; thus it is either radically independent, or typical.

Anna Kałuża