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 Nostalghia.com with the kind permission of
Dr. Seweryn Kuśmierczyk himself.
The complete bibliographical reference
for this excellent work can be found
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.