British news, that is. And in the two of the publications I read regularly: the FT Weekend and More Intelligent Life.
Making it to the “Lunch with the FT” column, for me, is akin to getting a special guest appearance slot in Sesame Street or The Muppet Show. It’s being toasted as the It Person. It’s icing on the cake for those who already have a free pass to the hall of fame. Those chewing the fat with the FT tend to dwell on here and now topics.
Last week, when the column featured a figure closely related to Poland, the focus was decidedly about the past. Perhaps that’s unavoidable since the man being watered and fed was a historian. Norman Davies, Welsh by descendent, an honorary Pole by career choice. Most likely, every household here has a copy of Davies’ “The Heart of Europe”. That title probably raised a few eyebrows of other nationalities. When he wrote a brick of a book about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and named it “Rising 44”, it forever confused Poles about the English word for an insurgency. The museum in the capital city mandated with publicizing that tragic episode insists on calling itself the “Warsaw Rising Museum“.
Back to the news. The FT column began with a flashback. One which Poland (and Norman Davies, too) is forever intertwined with: the opening act of World War II. The other story with Polish interest sounds grim. Entitled “A Soprano who Loves to Die”, it’s decidedly about the present: a Polish talent basking in operatic limelight.