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Soren Gauger - the laureate of the S.I. Witkiewicz Prize

Soren Gauger is a Canadian writer who has decided to write in Polish. Soren Gauger’s works reflect his attitude towards Polish culture where he invents defence mechanisms based on feelings of inferiority. His is also a person from abroad for promoting Polish theatre in the world.

Soren A. Gauger grew up and was educated in Vancouver Canada. He moved to Krakow, Poland, in 1998 to study Polish language and literature. Having taught literature at Jagiellonian University, he is now a freelance writer and translator, regularly contributing articles on culture to the Krakow Post and Month in Krakow. His fiction has appeared in journals internationally, including Capilano Review, Chicago Review, Jacob's Ladder, and Prague Literary Review, as well as a chapbook of short stories, Quatre Regards sur L'Enfant Jesus (Ravenna Press, 2004). His translations include Wojciech Jagielski's Towers of Stone, Waiting for the Dog to Sleep by Jerzy Ficowski, and Bruno Jasienski's novel I Burn Paris and his selected Futurist texts in The Legs of Izolda Morgan.

Witkiewicz's "Narcotics" translated into English and published through Twisted Spoon Press. It's a book which will almost certainly confound your expectations, especially if you think you know something about the "madman of Krupówki," his literature, and his portrait studio. In a work which, for all its brevity, manages to pack in art theory, psychology, the comparative assets of various scrub brushes and shaving techniques, and hemorrhoid remedies, Witkacy also manages to describe the perils of drug use, but seldom in the way you would suppose. The book is published with plentiful appendices and many reproductions of Witkacy's drug-inspired portraits.

He wrote two collections of short stories in English: Hymns to Millionaires (2004) and Quatre Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus (2004), well received by international critics. For a few years now, he has been writing also in Polish. He has published his short stories in RitaBaum and Ha!art. The novel Nie to/Nie tamto (Not this/Not that) is his debut in the Polish language.

In Soren Gauger’s literary works he can be seen to be disregarding the influence of popular trends in hegemonic cultures, referring to old and old-fashioned works, and styling himself on marginality and fantasticality.