Bacacay

      Witold Gombrowicz
Bacacay

“These exuberant stories, so startlingly fresh, so vigorous, and so wildly inventive, are a delight…”—Alastair Reid

“Gombrowicz is one of the most original and gifted writers of the twentieth century: he belongs at the very summit, at the side of his kindred spirits, Kafka and Céline.”—Louis Begley

“One of the greatest novelists of our century.”—Milan Kundera

Stunningly original in both style and content, these stories are hilarious yet have an undercurrent of profound moral disquiet and horror when the respectable turns slowly but inexorably into the outrageous, conveying both the horrors of upper-class life and the deepest anguish of the human condition.

Read online

    Cosmos

      Witold Gombrowicz
Cosmos

A dark, quasi-detective novel, Cosmos follows the classic noir motif to explore the arbitrariness of language, the joke of human freedom, and man’s attempt to bring order out of chaos in his psychological life.
Published in 1965, Cosmos is the last novel by Witold Gombrowicz (1904–1969) and his most somber and multifaceted work. Two young men meet by chance in a Polish resort town in the Carpathian Mountains. Intending to spend their vacation relaxing, they find a secluded family-run pension. But the two become embroiled first in a macabre event on the way to the pension, then in the peculiar activities and psychological travails of the family running it. Gombrowicz offers no solution to their predicament.
Cosmos is translated here for the first time directly from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt, translator of Ferdydurke.

Read online

    Pornografia

      Witold Gombrowicz
Pornografia

Gombrowicz's strange, bracing final novel probes the divide between young and old while providing a grotesque evocation of obsession. While recuperating from wartime Warsaw in the Polish countryside, the unnamed narrator and his friend, Fryderyk, attempt to force amour between two local youths, Karol and Henia, as a kind of a lewd entertainment. They become increasingly frustrated as they discover that the two have no interest in one another, and the games are momentarily stopped by a local murder and a directive to assassinate a rogue member of the Polish resistance. Gombrowicz connects these threads magnificently in a tense climax that imbues his novel with a deep sense of the absurd and multiplies its complexity. Gombrowicz is a relentless psychoanalyzer and a consummate stylist; his prose is precise and forceful, and the narrator's strained attempts to elucidate why he takes such pleasure at soiling youth creepily evoke authentic pride and disgust. Borchardt's translation (the first into English from the original Polish) is a model of consistency, maintaining a manic tone as it navigates between lengthy, comma-spliced sentences and sharp, declarative thrusts. - Publishers Weekly

Read online

    Trans-Atlantyk

      Witold Gombrowicz
Trans-Atlantyk

A semi-autobiographical, satirical novel that throws into perspective all of Gombrowicz's major literary, philosophical, psychological and social concerns. Throughout the book Gombrowicz ridicules the self-centred pomposity of the Polish community in Argentina.

Read online