- KOSINSKI, Jerzy (Nikodem)
- (1933-1991)Polish writer whose harrowing experiences as a child in WWII are reflected in his first novel, The Painted Bird (1965; rev 1976), a hallucinated picaresque set in the surrealistic landscape of war-devastated Poland; its child protagonist - like JK himself - is driven mute by his experiences. JK regained the power of speech at the age of 15, moved to the USA in 1958, and wrote all his fiction in English. Most of his novels are shaped as mosaics of deracination (FABULATION), and tales like Cockpit (1975) displace these chips of reality in an sf direction. His nearest approach to sf proper, Being There (1970), treats the USpolitical system as one from which any meaning has been evacuated; its vacant-minded protagonist, named Chance, reflects through his media-shaped emptiness the desires and delusions of the world, while at the same time being selected to run for high office; it was filmed as Being There (1979). JK's later years were not happy. Illness, accusations that he hadmade excessive and unacknowledged use of helpers's work (F. Gwynplaine MACINTYRE, for instance, ghost-wrote part of Pinball (1984), giving one ofthe characters his own middle name), distressingly close examinations of the background behind the childhood experiences he claimed to have suffered, and (it may be) the fatalism that has often afflicted survivors of the Holocaust attended him. He committed suicide.JCAbout the author: Jerzy Kosinski: The Literature of Violation (1991) by Welch D. Everman.See also: ABSURDIST SF.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.