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Magdalena Parys

Portrait of Magdalena Parys

Magdalena Parys (née en 1971) est poète, écrivaine et traductrice. Elle a fondé la revue littéraire polonaise-allemande Squaws, et est diplômée en philologie polonaise et en pédagogie de l’université de Humboldt à Berlin.

  • EUPL Year: 
    2015
  • EUPL Country: 

Winning Book

Magik (traduction française : « Le Magicien », 2019)

Le point de départ de l’histoire est un communiqué de presse : « En 2010, à l’Office fédéral allemand en charge des archives de la Stasi, près de six kilomètres de rayonnages ont disparu (vingt millions de pages). On estime que pendant la période du rideau de fer, près de quatre mille cinq cents personnes du bloc de l’Est ont essayé de fuir à l’Ouest par la frontière bulgare. Près d’une centaine y ont perdu la vie . » Cette information a inspiré l’auteure pour la rédaction d’un récit multi-dimensionnel. Elle raconte l’histoire de personnes qui ont cherché à découvrir les circonstances de morts mystérieuses survenues dans les années 1980. L’histoire se situe en 2011, mais ses origines remontent aux années 50. C’est à ce moment que l’opération secrète « le Magicien » débuta : la Stasi de la RDA coopéra avec les gardes-frontières bulgares pour assassiner les réfugiés des pays socialistes qui, à l’époque du Rideau de Fer, essayèrent de traverser illégalement les frontières turco-bulgares ou gréco-bulgares. On souleva le prétexte de l’illégalité de la traversée de ces frontières, ce qui déboucha pourtant sur l’élimination d’opposants militants. Dans le livre, différentes histoires s’entrecroisent : l’histoire de la RDA, celles du mouvement de solidarité et du Berlin contemporain, des histoires de culpabilité, de punition et de fuite des responsabilités, ainsi qu’une enquête compliquée menée par un officier de police désobéissant, Kowalski. Alors qu’il est mis à l’écart de l’enquête, il n’abandonne pas et découvrira le passé obscur de certains politiciens influents de l’Allemagne réunifiée…

Book Cover of Magik

Publishing House

Organisation: 
Świat Książki

Translation Deals

  • Bulgaria: Paradox Publishing Group
  • Croatia: Fraktura
  • France: Agullo Editions
  • Germany: Freiraum Verlag
  • Italy: Mimesis Edizioni SRL
  • North Macedonia: Antolog Books
  • Serbia: Heliks

Excerpt

Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

 

Ever since the children had gone to college abroad, Christian Schlangenberger's wife seemed calmer, and for a few months he’d had a new, young mistress called Felicia. These were long-awaited changes, but they weren’t the most essential. The most significant event of the past year was that, in February, more than 5.8 kilometres of files at the Stasi Records Office, some 20 million pages of A4, had been annulled. They’d disappeared.
He ran through that sentence in his mind once again: 5.8, nearly 6 kilometres of files had disappeared from the Stasi Records Office. The biggest success of his life, the wisest move he’d ever made, like a chess move, checkmate, files gone. If they’d awarded Oscars for that sort of real-life role, he’d have swept the board, for production, screenplay, direction and lead performance. He had planned this move extremely carefully, spreading it over a five-year period, and without involving anyone from outside. The entire operation had been run for him by Frank Derbach, a close and trusted friend, who felt he was doing a favour for a party colleague, the originator and sponsor of this unprecedented operation. He wouldn’t have done it for just anyone. Just for him.
Apart from the months following the fall of the wall, when the security service agents had tried to destroy part of the archive, this was the first incidence of files being eliminated on such a major scale. While the first attempt had been frustrated, thanks to the involvement of outraged citizens of the former GDR, the second, 20 years later, had taken place without much more than a flicker of interest from anyone at all – 5.8 kilometres of files were officially deemed to be dispensable, needlessly occupying clerical time. So the files vanished. Schlangenberger hadn’t had much trouble selling the idea that they were dispensable to the few representatives of the media who were interested in the matter. Of course he knew that not everything could be hidden. In so-called democracies, hiding things never produced the best result. Success depended on whether it could be packaged nicely.

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