Jan Józef Lipski – Negotiations for square brackets (183/215)

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Jan Józef Lipski (1926-1991) was a writer, literary critic, and one of Poland’s best known political activists. He fought in the Warsaw Uprising, co-founded the Workers’ Defence Committee (KOR), and, from 1987, re-established and led the Polish Socialist Party. [Listener: Jacek Petrycki, Marcel Łoziński; date recorded: 1989]

TRANSCRIPT: Well, when Solidarity was formed, I of course joined right at its very beginning. What did I do there? Above all, after some time, I found myself in the leadership of the Mazowsze region, but the most important issue I was involved in at that time was the negotiations with the government and parliamentary commissions about the bill on censorship. Every ruling on censorship is bad, there are no good ones. But they could be better or worse. There was hope here that we could gain a lot, whereas we gained very little but at least it was something. Those square brackets, mainly used by the Catholic press, registers of bills and so on, explaining why part of or an entire article was removed, was something I negotiated, something of that remained. But I had a lot of trouble with that because a member of the PEN Club ought not to participate in negotiating any kind of bill relating to censorship, because the PEN Club is absolutely opposed to any sort of censorship.

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