In critical commentary, Czarny piasek [Black sand, 1959], Andrzej Bobkowski's only play, is surrounded by a sense of unease. Read through the lens of his other writings, it is decried as an offshoot of the blinkered ideas he propounded elsewhere. My approach, in contrast, is that of a drama scholar. I propose to read Black Sand as a play in its own right and to examine its tangled skein of dramaturgical and rhetorical strategies. Part a psychological drama on the torment of personal relations, part a nimble satire on a group of immigrants and refugees, and part a kind of romantic comedy in which the heroine, a young Jewish woman, resists her father's attempts to control her sex life, Black Sand is fraught with interpretive challenges. With the usual caveat that no single interpretation is ever fully adequate, I want to open the way for a more nuanced understanding of Black Sand by looking at it from the perspective of Holocaust drama studies.

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