3 Books by Witold Gombrowicz
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Overview: Witold Marian Gombrowicz (August 4, 1904 in Małoszyce, near Kielce, Congress Poland, Russian Empire – July 24, 1969 in Vence, near Nice, France) was a Polish novelist and dramatist. His works are characterized by deep psychological analysis, a certain sense of paradox and an absurd, anti-nationalist flavor. In 1937 he published his first novel, Ferdydurke, which presented many of his usual themes: the problems of immaturity and youth, the creation of identity in interactions with others, and an ironic, critical examination of class roles in Polish society and culture. He gained fame only during the last years of his life but is now considered one of the foremost figures of Polish literature.
Genre: Fiction | General Fiction/Classics
Bacacay: A balloonist finds himself set upon by erotic lepers…a passenger on a ship notices a human eye on the deck…a group of aristocrats enjoy a vegetarian dish made from human flesh…a virginal young girl gnaws raw meat from a bone…a notorious ruffian is terrorized by a rat. Welcome to the bizarre universe of Witold Gombrowicz, whose legendary short story collection is presented here for the first time in English. These tales, hilarious, disturbing, and brilliantly written, are utterly unique in world literature. After reading them, you’ll never be the same.
Cosmos: Milan Kundera called Witold Gombrowicz “one of the great novelists of our century.” His most famous novel, Cosmos, the recipient of the 1967 International Prize for Literature, is now available in a critically acclaimed translation, for the first time directly from the Polish, by the award-winning translator Danuta Borchardt. Cosmos is a metaphysical noir thriller narrated by Witold, a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns. On his way to a relaxing vacation he meets the despondent Fuks. As they set off together for a family-run pension in the Carpathian Mountains they discover a dead bird hanging from a string. Is this a strange but meaningless occurrence or is it the beginning of a string of bizarre events? As the young men become embroiled in the Chekhovian travails of the family running the pension, Grombrowicz creates a gripping narrative where the reader questions who is sane and who is safe?
Ferdydurke: In this bitterly funny novel a writer finds himself tossed into a chaotic world of schoolboys by a diabolical professor who wishes to reduce him to childishness. Originally published in Poland in 1937, Ferdydurke was deemed scandalous and subversive by Nazis, Stalinists, and the Polish Communist regime in turn and was officially banned in Poland for decades. It has nonetheless remained one of the most influential works of twentieth-century European literature.