Glagoslav Publications Brings Out Tefil, Rafał Wojasiński’s New Engaging Masterpiece, in Which We Come Across a Curious – and Eerie – Situation –

London, United Kingdom, June 29, 2024 –(– Summary:

A young man named Rozmaryn finds a photograph depicting his mother in the company of a stranger. He lost both his parents at an early age, and never even knew his mother. So he sets off in search of that stranger, and this leads him to one of the most articulate, yet unsettling and possibly mentally handicapped characters as can be found anywhere in literature: Tefil. A balding and somewhat odiferous inhabitant of a garret flat in a sleepy town somewhere in Poland, never married, Tefil, who spent his working years as a village factotum, now exists as something of a self-interested Oxfam bin collecting the clothes of the dead. He also goes to extreme lengths to avoid paying back insignificant debts and cadging pastries, coffee, and sometimes alcoholic dinners, from passers-by to whom he attaches himself like a tick. He also philosophises, disparaging the sense of human life, and singing a paean to ‘all-conquering mould’, which is the only living creature that cannot be destroyed (supposedly, it even survives being eaten and digested), and which is fated to overcome – to consume – all other life, including man and his civilisation. How does that make us feel, as human beings ourselves?

Rafał Wojasiński’s character is challenging, repulsive, and yet fatally attractive. Like Rozmaryn, we cannot tear ourselves away from his rushing stream of words and ideas, which fascinate us while filling us with existential dread. But is Tefil serious? Or is he just spilling an unending yarn, talking for the sake of hearing his unquestionably spellbinding voice? One hopes it is the latter, and it just might be. For Tefil is a poetic novel, something in the line of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake; something of a literary equivalent to absolute music and non-representational painting. Standing before Wojasiński’s puzzling canvas, hearing his dissonant composition through to the end, the reader might be left bewildered – but will certainly not find his time spent with Tefil unrewarding.

About the author:

Rafał Wojasiński (born 1974) is a celebrated author of fiction and drama. Among his works are Złodziej ryb (The Fish Thief, 2004), Stara (The Old Woman, 2011), and Olanda (2018), as well as the plays Długie życie (A Long Life, 2017), Dziad Kalina (Old Man Kalina, 2018), and Siostry (Sisters, 2019). Many of his dramatic works have also been performed as radio plays; his philosophical novel Stara was adapted for the Polish Radio Theatre by Waldemar Modestowicz. His works have been translated into English, French, Spanish, and Bulgarian, and have been consistently nominated for prestigious literary awards, among others: the Gdynia Dramaturgical Award (for Siostry, 2019), the Marek Nowakowski Literary Award (also 2019, for Olanda), and the Award of the Capital City of Warsaw (2022, for Tefil).

Review copies are available upon request.

Title: Tefil
Author: Rafał Wojasiński
Translator: Charles S. Kraszewski
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications B.V.
Language: English
ISBN: 9781912894710, 9781912894727, 9781912894734
Extent: 205 pages
Price: €19.99 (PB), €23.99 (HB), €9.95 (e-book)
Format: paperback, hardback, e-book