scribble scribble scribble It is a well-known fact that The Tarkovsky Diaries (Martyrolog) differ significantly between various language editions. His diaries are voluminous indeed and his family has been — understandably enough — reluctant to release it all. Nevertheless, with the passing of time, more and more has become available, and subsequent editions have contained increasing levels of detail. The Calcutta Edition is generally considered the best English edition of Martyrolog, but the French edition has for a long time been the most complete in terms of content.

The excerpts below are taken from the Polish version of Martyrolog, until recently the most complete edition. Sponsored by the Polish Academy of Sciences, and edited by Dr. Seweryn Kuśmierczyk of the Dept. of Polish Literature, Warsaw University, this 1998 publication contains detail heretofore inaccessible to the Tarkovsky scholar. During a visit to Tarkovsky's family in Italy several years ago, Dr. Kuśmierczyk was given access to many documents that had belonged to the late Tarkovsky. The resulting Polish-language publications, of which the Diaries (Dzienniki) is one, shed much new light on Tarkovsky's creative process, how he worked with others, and what his opinions were on other directors, actors, movies, etc.

The following excerpts are arranged thematically, tracing certain — to us — especially fascinating threads through the Diaries. The material is translated into English and posted here by with the kind permission of Dr. Seweryn Kuśmierczyk himself.

Martyrolog on...

The Witch

The Sacrifice

St. Anthony


The 1983 American visit

Tempo di viaggio

The complete bibliographical reference for this excellent work can be found here.

Postscriptum: Not until December 2001 did the first complete edition of the diaries appear in Italy, published by Edizioni della Meridiana.

The first Russian language edition appeared in 2008 as Martyrolog. Dnevniki 1970–1986.

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