With its montage strategies reminiscent of early avant-garde cinema and fist-to-the-gut metaphors, I Burn Paris has lost none of its vitality and vigor. Ruthlessly dissecting various utopian fantasies, Jasienski is out to disorient, and he has a seemingly limitless ability to transform the Parisian landscape into the product of disease-addled minds. An exquisite example of literary Futurism and Catastrophism, the novel presents a filthy, degenerated world where factories and machines have replaced the human and economic relationships have turned just about everyone into a prostitute. Yet rather than cliché and simplistic propaganda, there is an immediacy to the writing, and the modern metropolis is starkly depicted as only superficially cosmopolitan, as hostile and animalistic at its core.
This English translation of I Burn Paris fills a major gap in the availability of works from the interwar Polish avant-garde, an artistic phenomenon receiving growing attention.
It should be emphasized that I Burn Paris is not a programmatic novel. Yes, there's a message here, and an ideology on offer, but Jasieński's expressionistic instincts take over for wonderful long stretches... -- M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
Jasieński's apocalyptic vanguardism sees catastrophe as clearing the way for organisation and the plan. ... [His] dialectic of rotting dispersion and tailored compactness traces a fantasy space in which, too often, we still dwell. -- Mute Magazine