When Stanislaw Gombrowicz falls into a coma he finds himself in the strange land of Pileck with a new name and no memory.
As we learn in James Eddy‘s novel “The Dark Era” in this new world, a war is raging between the people of Pileck and their monstrous enemies the Sinistrians and the Curzonians. Danger seems to be everywhere but as Stanislaw’s strength grows so does the threat when it becomes clear that it is he who is actually the single greatest weapon of the war; a weapon that the enemies of Pileck will do anything to possess in order to destroy everything he has and will ever love.
As this is happening, in the real world his grandson, Jonathon, is attempting to find a way to write a book about Stanislaw’s experiences during World War II. The obstacles he faces are not insignificant. The facts he has are fragmented, distorted by the old man’s Alzheimer’s-ravaged memories.
Separate and almost unknowingly the two of them must find a way to reach the end; to survive long enough to keep the past and present alive even as life itself is slipping away.
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In a racent blog post James Eddy explains the story-behind-the-story of “The Dark Era”:
In “The Dark Era” one of the characters goes by the name Karski, another is called Witold, while the name Pilecki is given to an entire nation of people (the good guys in this part of the novel). None of these names are insignificant.
‘Karski’ is a direct tribute to Jan Karski, a Polish resistance movement fighter during World War II.
Indeed. Eddy refers us to the Wikipedia entry for Jan Karski:
In November 1939 on a train to a POW camp in General Government (a part of Poland which had not been fully incorporated into The Third Reich), Karski managed to escape, and found his way to Warsaw. There he joined the ZWZ – the first resistance movement in occupied Europe and a predecessor of the [Polish] Home Army (AK). About that time he adopted a nom de guerre of Jan Karski, which later became his legal name.
And Eddy sends us also looking at Wikipedia’s article on Witold Pilecki:
Witold Pilecki (13 May 1901 – 25 May 1948; codenames Roman Jezierski, Tomasz Serafiński, Druh, Witold) was a Polish soldier during the Second Polish Republic, the founder of the Secret Polish Army (Tajna Armia Polska) resistance group in German-occupied Poland in November 1939 and a member of the underground Home Army (Armia Krajowa), which was formed in February 1942. As the author of Witold’s Report, the first intelligence report on Auschwitz concentration camp, Pilecki enabled the Polish government-in-exile to convince the Allies that the Holocaust was taking place.
And watch the Pubslush video for “The Dark Era” here:by