Magdalena Ogórek: ,,The Wächter's list.” The Review.
Cinematic writing as a style of expression through the literature in the case of “The Wächter's List”, by Magdalena Ogórek turns out to be a great success. The book has been written in the form of diary combining features of reportage with elements of historical investigation. Apart from that, there is a significant amount of informative interludes, conveying outstanding knowledge to a reader. The aim is to understand the values and purposes of described pieces of art, also to introduce their important figures related to them. An addressee of the book has a real chance to feel genuine emotions of the author - the protagonist. It is possible, thanks to excellent language features, perfectly used by the
writer. At her piece of work, going step by step, she reveals the stages of her private
investigation. She conveys the poignant truth about the title role of the SS General - Otto von Wächter and his responsibility for the disappearance of works of art, including “The fight between Carnival and Lent” by Peter Bruegel (Brueghel). Through further story, the author very effectively uses sensory effects in a description of her experiences. She often handles words defining taste, smell, colour, sound (Onomatopoeia) and even touch. It makes a reader feel like he/she equally participates in actions, or even becomes a companion of her mission.
By using a personification of nature and objects, this message becomes more vivid, powerful and interesting.
One of the most important, crucial and essential for creating this book is meeting between the protagonist and the title role's son - Horst von Wächter, reminiscence of his parents (especially his beloved mother), revealing his family's secrets and attaching documents, including photographs. Thanks to Horst, the protagonist meets persons, witnesses, that are crucial for investigation. The statement given by Polish Prince, Stanislaw Lubomirski and one SS soldier's story (a companion of the General Wächter) contributes to this book, help to shape more precisely the figure of Otto von Wächter. To discover the truth, the author multiple times travels abroad to places such as Vienna, Prague, Rome, where Wächter was hiding himself during his escape from justice.
This book is for the art history fans, interested in II World War. It is an amazing proposition for those seeking the truth about missing Polish art masterpieces during WWII, desiring to find out, what has really happened to the stolen artefacts. The book may also motivate those, who love travelling and would track Magdalena's journey to those amazing places in Europe, full of history and secrets!
Personally, I cannot wait to visit Vienna!