Kazimierz Brandys is known for his extraordinary sensitivity to the changes that swept over Poland in the middle of the 20th century. He was both a watchful observer and participant of that transformation. His guest for authenticity and his own 'I' is obstructed, however, by his belief in the inaccessibility of the inner essence of things. The metaphoric threefold Subject (the writing one, the one written about, and the empirical one) which appears successively in recollections, metatextual themes and fictions is not just a literary game. Brandys's work can be read as a selfdefense against all false appearances, historical, civilizational, or existential. The article takes up his major autobiographical novels ('Letters to Mrs Z'., 'The Joker', 'The Marketplace', and 'Robinson's Adventures') in an attempt to trace in them the twin features that are the hallmark of Brandys' art, an extraordinarily keen selfconsciousness and an ironic detachment from everything, including himself.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.