wsciekly pies“The Rabid Dog”

Wściekły pies, reportage, Znak 2007, 163 pages, ISBN 978-83-240-0887-2

Rights sold: theatre rights for the adaptation of the text The Rabid Dog sold in Poland Russia – 1st serial (Innostrannaja Literatura).

Tochman writes about problems and tragedies which quite unexpectedly can become our share. Some of them shook Polish public opinion, other remain the private tragedies of ordinary men: the heroic battle of a single woman with a child-molesting priest, the fate of a young man cursed with Tourette’s syndrome, and the attempts of a total amnesiac to rediscover his place in the world. Tochman outlines relationships between people, such as between the victim and the oppressor; tries to get to the bottom; and discover how the experience of evil and tragedies change people and shape their attitude towards life and other people.

The Rabid Dog is a set of reports on how Polish society copes with some contemporary issues at the turn of the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries.

Tochman’s book is an extremely dramatic testimony on the theme of the clash between the realities of recent modernity (new illnesses, new problems) and social consciousness, which is unable (or unwilling) to perceive its new obligations. Within this society the fundamental traditions, both Catholic and modernising,act exclusively as stigmatising mechanisms. Narrowminded normality, fearful, hypocritical reactions, a lack of social customs that would allow people to express fear… That is why Tochman realised we need someone who is prepared to start growling – the reporter as a rabid dog?

Przemysław Czapliński