OK, I am glad you are willing to accept the logic of this piece of Polish law. The next two points to discuss would deal with implementation of such law.
1. Is the Polish judicially system fair or crooked, is it independent or corrupted, and therefore could it be trusted in cases like this?
I do not have any opinion here. I do not live in Poland. I hope there are reasonable assumptions that the system can be trusted, at least statistically. But I hear from time to time about some occasional awkwardness of the prosecutor's office, so - by extension - one could expect similar awkwardness in courts of justice. I would not expect deliberate wrong doing and bribery at this level, but people are people...
2. Does this law apply equally to everyone?
This question is politically loaded and it is hard to answer, unless many such cases are revised and compared within the period of 12 years or so - to cover various ruling parties. It is mind boggling, how many such cases there are - coming from the left, right and centre; from politicos, business and sport people and from starlets. For what I saw, not all plaintiffs were the winners. If you do not believe me try googling: przeprosiny sąd. Here comes the lot of answers, as they appear, unsorted: Wyszkowski-Wałęsa, Pitera-PiS, Wprost-Rywin, Polskapresse-Radwańska, Kobylański-Sikorski, PiS-Platforma, Rzeczpospolita-gays, Socha-Dowgiałło, Warot-Szymocha, Radio Zet-Kaczyński, Krasowski-Michnik, Lis-Ziobro, Czarnecki-Wałęsa, Sybilski-Doda...
Shall I go on? If you really care, go an analyze the cases and then truthfully and honestly answer the question: are the civil law and its courts impartial in Poland, or not?
What is to stop GW, or any other paper, from mounting a lawsuit over a statement like "GW advocates governmental policies that are bad for Poland"?
Nothing. But more than likely this will never happen. After all, not all GW editors are stupid and they have some common sense, do you agree? :-) Besides, it is up to a court to decide, whether or not the case will be processed or thrown out of court ("Don't waste our time"). Frivolity could be one of the reasons for that, but I am just guessing here.
I am not going into the discussion whether such law is good for Poland or not. Nothing you or I can do here, DE. Apparently it works reasonably well, as described at the end of the Aligator's message #81.
The rest of my response will be in the next message, after appropriate time delay.
did Witkiewicz take Breiter to court? No, he refuted Breiter in print and that is what GW should have done in the case of Rymkiewicz.
It may work sometimes, until one side looses patience or gets really mad. As an example, apparently Lech Wałęsa has had enough of this yapping around him, so he does not hesitate to start finger pointing at Rydzyk as the the source of his latest harassments.
You seem to be putting the writers and poets on the pedestal and expect them to behave normally, rationally and honestly, and being able to solve all their disputes in print? Well, I can supply you with many examples, describing how bad the artists' world can be - with typical authors' vices there: jealousy, corruption, denunciation and first of all - lust for fame. Here is an example of just one little, poisonous missive launched by one known novelist over 100 years ago.This gentleman, who writes novels in English - popular and splendidly profitable, almost gave me a nervous attack. I felt, reading about him, such a slippery and distasteful thing raising up my throat. How come! So the creativity is also ready to join the "exodus" (...) Creative ability is the crown of the plant, the top of the tower, the heart of the nation's heart. And this flower, this peak and this heart he takes away from his nation and gives it to Anglo-Saxons, who do not even miss the proverbial bird's milk, because they just pay the higher price for it. One can hardly think about it - without shame (...) Not a single Polish teenager will ever shed an altruistic tear over the novels of Mr. Konrad Korzeniowski, nor she will ever undertake any noble decision because of him.
- Eliza Orzeszkowa, according to Michał Komar, Bestiariusz codzienny
So wrote Eliza Orzeszkowa in her article about J. Conrad. Well, Conrad did not respond to her, but he felt her accusations painfully, as he demonstrated later in his letter to Edward Garnett in Jan 20, 1900. And she was the main reason why the big portion of the next generations of Poles looked upon him as a traitor:Conrad renounced his homeland, native language, even the name. And for anyone who puts these very issues on top of his moral code, Conrad is forever buried.
Writers and poets will do anything for fame. With fame comes an illusion of power and a sense of a mission. Mickiewicz the poet had become Mickiewicz the prophet at some time. Rymkiewicz the poet wants to become Rymkiewicz the bard, the righteous one.
Adam Szostkiewicz, a commentator of "Polityka",
wrote this on his blog almost two years ago:I own almost all the Rymkiewicz's books, both prose and verse. I value highly the ones that he wrote before becoming a bard. (...) If he wants to be the Kaczyński's bard - this is his right. And it is my right to complain here that I have lost my favourite Polish writer.
-Adam Szostkiewicz, Polityka,
So he is disappointed in Rymkiewicz the bard. I am disappointed in him as a poet of later years. I am really surprised, because all I used to read about him were mostly accolades: of his prose, his essays, his plays, his style, his penmanship, his poetry. But somehow all of this escapes me now after reading few of his poems, from the collection "Sunset at Milanówek", for which he received a literary award Nike in 2003 (whose sponsor is "Gazeta Wyborcza", by the way). I also read his (in)famous last year poem "Do Jarosława Kaczyńskiego".
All I saw was the verse-mongering of trivial "Częstochowa rhymes" - as they are called in Polish. I could go on in details, but I will only direct you to the definitions of such rhymes, and in particular to "exact rhymes" and "grammatical rhymes":
and various cases of banal poetry
(both in Polish).
And here are some examples of the exact, grammatical rhymes taken from the Rymkiewicz's verses I mentioned: światu-bratu, umierać-wybierać, ciało-działo, patosu-losu, jedzą-powiedzą, żyją-myją, wyrywają-poznają, piszą-slyszą, kwiatki-zagadki, jedne-biedne, wapnieje-dnieje, urzeczawia-ustawia, gnije-pije.
They are trivial, uninteresting, they should be avoided - as any young poet is usually being advised upon. The reason for it is that Polish, as an inflected language - in which word endings depend on a person, case, time, mode, etc. - has a lot of matching words that are in the same case, time, etc. Yet our "great poet" uses them in abundance: a verb matching another verb with the same person and time; a noun matching another noun with the same case, etc.
It's not only that: Rymkiewicz's rhymes, which I quoted, are quite empty, they do not indicate any meaning by themselves, they are almost randomly chosen. One has a feeling that the author just drags and forces the remaining words of the line to match - with great difficulty - the rhymes he found first. Nothing spontaneous here.
The good example, how the rhymes can be used are these collected rhymes from the four stanzas of a certain poem, whose owner was so ashamed of its content later in life, but who was so proud of its form:
... A B A B
These are not the exact rhymes, neither they are the grammatical ones. And you can almost guess what this poem was about by examining its rhymes alone. Yes, you guessed it: Władysław Broniewski, "Słowo o Stalinie" (A word about Stalin)
You draw your own conclusion. I am not trying to denigrate Rymkiewicz. This is only my private opinion, which is not listened to anyway, and I am not an expert. But I have the right to my opinion (FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, remember?) and my opinion is: his late poetry sucks. But I must add that some of his earlier poetry, the one without rhymes, is quite good.
I think Rymkiewicz should stay away from politics and happily enjoy the fruits of his hard work of younger days. Yet he wants to be a prophet. He divides people into good Poles and bad Poles, he creates crazy theories of a new Patriotic Religion. The greatness in one discipline does not give you a free pass to another one. You might be a great chemist but your relativity theory will still suck (we had one such case described on this forum). You might be a great poet but you might be stupid. Wait, wait - I found something along these lines, here you go:If he only had more oil in the head! How limited this man has been; you could only talk to him about mice, witches, various eccentricities - and about poetry, and then it was the delight. The pure rage seizes me when I recall that one can be a great poet and a very stupid man at the same time. Annoying, but true. He was great and stupid
- so wrote about Julian Tuwim his former friend Kazimierz Wierzyński.
I really do not know Ryczkiewicz's real motivations, but here are the thoughts of Jarosław Abramow Newerly from his "Granica Sokoła" where he tried to figure out what was the driving force behind the collaboration of many writers and poets, including Broniewski, with the ruling regime:There is only one answer. Lust. A terrible lust for fame - without limits, inhuman. This lust devours us all - supported by author's hungry arrogance. We look for it as a kite looks forward for rain. We dry out without it. It is more important to us than the daily bread, and often - than our integrity. We are ready to lose our virtues - just to possess it. In life. In life still, of course. We are like children. We are great gluttons. Addicted.