Phases.

The work, according to the text, is emerging in two phases: the ball and the romance in the form of the girl, right up until the transformation of the main character, and the chase and confession, ending with Arrhodes’ death. All that happens in phase one heralds what will happen in phase two. Timidly, at first, with multiple twists in different directions, sudden turns, and temporary stops along the way. According to some external plan, which is effected quickly, without stopping at any of the stages for too long. As if it was a waste of time. A moment of focus on the king, noticing his strange indifference, followed by a short, seemingly inconspicuous but ultimately fraught with consequences conversation with Arrhodes about the fan. Those temporary stops are only there where it is necessary to build the foundations of a certain dynamic and inertia in pursuit of the goal. This is reflected well in the initial memory content of the Machine-Girl. Some impressions and images have been added to it, but no effort has been taken to put them together. They only serve to guide the behaviour and aspirations of their holder. Nobody cares about her concern for internal cohesion; it might even contribute to triggering aggression. But that also needs to be directed – by means of violence.


The manifestation of the character’s most intense activity is her conscious stopping (one of the many paradoxes in this piece) and an attempt not to give in to external dynamics. Attempt not to give in to automatic reactions to external and internal stimuli. Observing and questioning the character’s own motivations. In phase one, such a stop takes place in the carriage, during an introspection, when the Girl tries to guess her own origins. In phase two, we see the stop in the monastery, where the Mantis shares her introspection with the monk – her confessor. In both cases, the results are poor. The introspection in the carriage is not followed by liberation; quite the opposite, it ends with a call to order through violence. The confession in the monastery also does not lead to salvation; sin is rather inevitable. The only thing the Mantis gains here, apart from the clue where to look further, is the temporary consolation in the absence of condemnation from the monk. But there is also a third stop – the “meta” stop. The entire story is narrated in the first person perspective, in the past tense, like during an interrogation or while confessing sins. After the events presented in the story, the heroine clearly lives on and has a chance to continue with her introspections. Maybe, after Arrhodes’ death, she returned to the monastery and entered phase three – the Monk? Or perhaps it is the Judgment Day? Or maybe she was just captured by the king’s envoys and she reports on the task she has accomplished. We do not know that.


Gabriel Chmura died. I didn't know him either close or very long, but I was still very impressed by him and I feel that I owe him a lot. He had that aura of a great persona, strengthened even more by contrast – by his rather diminutive figure. He seemed to be a giant from some old, legendary times. He had a charming and kind smile that was at the same time misteriously able to cool down the enthusiasm of anyone who would dare to aim a little too high a little too quickly. He called me a few times to ask about the progress on the Space Opera. I remember one such phone call especially well. Accidentally, I was then sitting in a cottage outside Brussels, looking at a Belgian cow grazing in the field, and having no idea how to play out the first “aria of the Fly”. Gabriel Chmura called to ask if I was perhaps thinking about a countertenor, because they have one in Poznań. The Fly immediately took off. The “aria” seems to have been to Maestro’s liking; on the day of the premiere, he hummed to my daughter in the foyer of the Poznań's Theatre. For all the kindness and trust, which I consider an honour, I will remain eternally grateful.


(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)

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