Andrzej Stasiuk’s new book, “Dojczland,” has climbed almost to the top of the Polish bestseller lists. Books about the western neighbours sell well in Poland. Poles always want to know exactly what is going on the other side of the Oder-Neisse line. Stasiuk is a master of scurrilous – and sometimes black – humour, and people somehow always want to laugh about the Germans – in literature at least, because in reality there is rarely reason to.

Of course Germany has a different name in Polish, namely “Niemcy”, which literally means “land of the mute” (it being almost impossible to communicate across the language barrier). This is something the book also addresses, the way Germans and Poles talk at cross purposes – especially well-meaning individuals who are open to reconciliation. In Poland it has provoked a debate about a critical question for the country: How do we want the Germans to see us?

more from Sign and Sight here.