It was as if I had two different men living inside me then. One was full of admiration and respect for ‘fine’ arts – music, literature, poetry; the other was full of mistrust of all the arts. The site for this struggle inside me, between those two personae, was my poetic practice. I felt admiration, reverence, for works of art – the aesthetic experience replaced the religious experience – but at the same time I felt a growing disdain for those ‘aesthetic’ values. I felt something had ended forever – for me, for humanity – and it was something that religion or science or art hadn’t protected.
In the 97th interview of the Maintenant series, SJ Fowler speaks to the legendary Polish poet Tadeusz Różewicz.