The Cathedral

Katedra is a science fiction short story written by Polish writer Jacek Dukaj. He is rather well known in Poland, having won many awards. Not much of his works were translated into English (“Ice” for sure), but in a way the world audience could get a glimpse of his work.

That is because of a short animated film Katedra by Tomasz Bagiński inspired by his story. The film was nominated for Oscar in 2003, won Best Animated Short at Siggraph 2002 in San Antonio and some other awards. Since that time Tomasz Bagiński is a big name in Poland.

I have watched Katedra years before I read the story. I felt like something was missing, and I did understand  it fully after reading the story.

On the last day of 2014, I have finished reading Katedra, in the 2003 version. It was a book with the short story, images and other art from the movie.

The main hero comes on a planetoid, where a “cathedral” was built to commemorate a death of a man who sacrificed himself so others would live. He is treated like a saint. The hero, sent by The Church, has to decide if the miracles were real, and if he should be called a saint. The Church is running out of time. The planetoid is on a way to “doom”.

The story is good. Thus the book is good too. Yet, I would like something more. More “talks in the back”. More “order” in the choosing of which images would accompany which passage of text. Now it’s one page of text and one page with image. It’s unneeded, imho. Definitely a book for a fan.

My opinion: 6.5/10.

Read for the challenges of Polacy nie gęsi III (Polish writers challenge) and The 2015 Sci-Fi Experience.


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