Witold Gombrowicz

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Gombrowicz, Witold


Born Aug. 4, 1904, in Malo-szyce, near Opatów. Polish writer.

Gombrowicz began publishing in the I930’s. The novella Ferdydurke (1938). in which Gombrowicz has clearly broken with the realistic tradition, is well known. Psychological observations are presented on a fantastic, grotesque plane. The portrayal of stereotypes of the behavior and thought of a particular milieu (aristocracy, petite bourgeoisie, school) develops into a conception of the unnatural quality of human relations in general and of the inevitability of all kinds of “masks” and “poses” and pessimistically denies reality. After World War II. Gombrowicz chose to remain an émigré and became an ardent opponent of the People’s Poland.


Ferdydurke. Warsaw, 1957.


Sandauer, A. Dla każdego coś przykrego. Krakow. 1966.


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Instead of writing another paragraph introducing Schulz and his work before moving to the main argument of the current text, let us read, quoted here in extenso, the literary portrait of Bruno Schulz, sketched by Witold Gombrowicz, the writer who emerged almost at the same time as Schulz, and who, though radically different, was closer to him than any other artist.
Gombrowicz was very critical of Polish literature and art at large as parochial and preoccupied with the community/nation rather than with the individual.
Actualizing the grammatical sense of the verbal aspects and of the Aktionsart is quite typical of Gombrowicz.
While the entry makes it clear that its ressentiment is centered chiefly on the numbers of people compressed into the same car as Gombrowicz himself, "that mug ten centimeters away" does not exactly fade from readers' sight.
Gombrowicz is a writer who pretends to ignore history, discarding any allegiance to the humanistic or patriotic ideals upheld by many of his illustrious fellow writers.
Exile has been the heritage shared by many of the most creative and influential representatives of Polish culture, the composer and pianist Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), and the national bards Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855), Juliusz Slowacki (1809-1849) and Cyprian Norwid (1821-1883) in the nineteenth century and such notable writers in the twentieth century as Witold Gombrowicz, Slawomir Mrozek, Alexander Wat, and Czeslaw Milosz.
of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign) negotiates questions of identity, language, and the experience of expatriation in Conrad (1857-1924) Gombrowicz (1904-96) by addressing two issues.
In this wonderful new translation of Pornografia, Gombrowicz savors the theme of Ferdydurke, the hold of feckless youth over maturity, with smirking vengeance.
In his roving events titled "La Promesse de L'Ecran" (The Promise of the Screen) and his "Diaporama" (literally "slide show") projects, Leguillon produces mash-ups of images, via their familiar reproductions (Carl Andre, Robert Ryman, Claes Oldenburg, Hans-Peter Feldmann); quotations from writers (Virginia Woolf, Paul Celan, Witold Gombrowicz, Jacques Derrida); and music (Sergei Prokofiev, Frank Sinatra, Sonic Youth).
Witold Gombrowicz has written an essay in which he argues that the supreme example of the power of language is that many people who don't read poetry at all, a group which includes the majority of mankind, hearing the incessant praise of poets for their art over centuries and centuries, has given grudging or faintly pious homage to this chores by paying lip service to the value of poetry, paying for the education of their children in the subject, and occasionally putting the faces of poets on postage stamps.
Stasiuk invests the scene with a disarming combination of mystery and matter-of-factness that owes more to Garcia Marquez than to Schulz or Gombrowicz.
As Witold Gombrowicz writes in his autobiography, celebrating great readers everywhere: "Monday / Me.