The Evil Spirits in Kosinki’s “Painted Bird”

I tried to visualize the manner in which the evil spirits operated. The minds and souls of people were as open to these forces as a plowed field, and it was on these fields that the Evil Ones incessantly spread their evil seed. If their seed sprouted to life, if they felt welcomed, they offered all the help that might be needed, on the condition that it was used for selfish purposes and only to the detriment of others.

These creatures that inhabited the human soul observed keenly not only man’s every action but also his motives and emotions. What mattered was that a man should consciously promote evil, find pleasure in harming others, nurturing and using the diabolical powers granted to him by the Evil Ones in a manner calculated to cause as much misery and suffering around him as possible.

Only those with a sufficiently powerful passion for hatred, greed, revenge or torture to obtain some objective seemed to make a good bargain with the powers of Evil. Others, confused, uncertain of their aim, lost between curses and prayers, the tavern and the church, struggled through life alone, without help from either God or the Devil. (Exceprted from Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird)

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