Search results for: cosmos-and-pornografia

Cosmos and Pornografia

Author : Witold Gombrowicz
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Here are two major works by the famed Polish novelist and dramatist Witold Gombrowicz. The first, Cosmos, a metaphysical thriller, revolves around an absurd investigation. It is set in provincial Poland and narrated by a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns, and whose voice is dense with the richly palpable description that characterizes Gombrowicz's writing. The second, Pornografia, explores the sinister effect the young can have on the old. To serve their own secret eroticism, two aging intellectuals encourage a young couple to commit murder. Although the adolescents are the weapons used to commit the crime, the four become conspirators before the deed is done.

Gombrowicz in Transnational Context

Author : Silvia G. Dapia
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Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969) was born and lived in Poland for the first half of his life but spent twenty-four years as an émigré in Argentina before returning to Europe to live in West Berlin and finally Vence, France. His works have always been of interest to those studying Polish or Argentinean or Latin American literature, but in recent years the trend toward a transnational perspective in scholarship has brought his work to increasing prominence. Indeed, the complicated web of transnational contact zones where Polish, Argentinean, French and German cultures intersect to influence his work is now seen as the appropriate lens through which his creativity ought to be examined. This volume contributes to the transnational interpretation of Gombrowicz by bringing together a distinguished group of North American, Latin American, and European scholars to offer new analyses in three distinct themes of study that have not as yet been greatly explored — Translation, Affect and Politics. How does one translate not only Gombrowicz’s words into various languages, but the often cultural-laden meaning and the particular style and tone of his writing? What is it that passes between author and reader that causes an affect? How did Gombrowicz’s negotiation of the turbulent political worlds of Poland and Argentina shape his writing? The three divisions of this collection address these questions from multiple perspectives, thereby adding significantly to little known aspects of his work.

Gombrowicz s Grimaces

Author : Ewa P?onowska Ziarek
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Examines Gombrowicz's modernist aesthetics in the context of his critique of nationalism, his exploration of queer eroticism, and his interest in hybrid and subaltern identities.

Rhetoric of Failure The

Author : Ewa Plonowska Ziarek
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Anti Portraits Poetics of the Face in Modern English Polish and Russian Literature 1835 1965

Author : Kamila Pawlikowska
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Anti-Portraits: Poetics of the Face in Modern English, Polish and Russian Literature (1835-1965) examines prose portraits which challenge the belief that the face reflects character. Their authors consider physiognomy as a form of aesthetic dictatorship conducive to stereotyping and racism.

Transformative Fictions

Author : Daniel Just
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Transformative Fictions: World Literature and Personal Change engages with current debates in world literature over the past twenty years, addressing the nature of literary influence in centers and peripheries, the formation of transnational literary and pedagogical canons, and the role of translation and regionalism in how we relate to texts from around the globe. The author, Daniel Just, argues for a supranational but sub-global perspective of regions that emphasizes practical reasons for reading and focuses on the potential of literary texts to stimulate personal transformation in readers. One of the recurring dilemmas in these debates is the issue of delimitation of world literature. The trouble with the world as a frame of reference is that no single researcher is bound to have the in-depth knowledge and linguistic skills to discuss works from all countries. In response, this book revives literary theory and recasts it for the purposes of world literature, by making a case for the continuing relevance of literature in the age of new media. With the examples of fictional and nonfictional writings by Milan Kundera, Witold Gombrowicz and Bohumil Hrabal, Just shows that regional literatures offer differing methods of activating readers and thereby prompting personal change. This book would be of general interest to anyone who wants to explore personal change through literature but is particularly indispensable for literary professionals, researchers, and postgraduate and graduate students.

Polish Hybrid and Otherwise

Author : George Z. Gasyna
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Pornografia

Author : Witold Gombrowicz
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The place is Poland, in the early years of the German occupation. Pornografia's narrator, an author named Witold Gombrowicz, meets a swarthy and overly formal man named Fyderyk at a Warsaw house party, and the two soon become engaged in a business of a dubious (if not downright criminal) nature. When an acquaintance of theirs, a corpulent provincial landowner named Hipolit, requests that they come stay with him to discuss some of his city affairs, it is not hard to convince them to leave the claustrophobic city for the fresh air of the countryside. Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit's farm: Henia, Hipolit's daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol's pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm's edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia's engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia's fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be. Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk's games. First, Vaclav's mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm's residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken. The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest. Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol's pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav's mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian's room and finish him off. But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian's room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking Vaclav for Siemien, murders him. The narrator's frivolous mind games are suddenly made very real, and as the book ends they are, for the first time, and in their moment of catastrophe, brought closer than ever before to their young pawns.

Gombrowicz Polish Modernism and the Subversion of Form

Author : Michael Goddard
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Gombrowicz, Polish Modernism, and the Subversion of Form provides a new and comprehensive account of the writing and thought of the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz. While Gombrowicz is probably the key Polish modernist writer, with a stature in his native Poland equivalent to that of Joyce or Beckett in the English language, he remains little known in English. As well as providing a commentary on his novels, plays, and short stories, this book for the first time sets Gombrowicz's writing in the context of contemporary cultural theory. The author performs a detailed examination of Gombrowicz's major literary and theatrical work, showing how his conception of form is highly resonant with contemporary, postmodern theories of identity. This book is the essential companion to one of Eastern Europe's most important literary figures whose work, banned by the Nazis and suppressed by Poland's Communist government, has only recently become well known in the West.

Phantasms of Matter in Gogol and Gombrowicz

Author : Michal Oklot
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An investigation into the problem of writing about matter in Nikolai Gogol's work and, indirectly, into the entire Neoplatonic tradition in Russian literature, this book is not intended to be an exhaustive historical survey of the concept of matter, but rather an effort to enumerate the images of matter in Gogol's texts and to specify the rules of their construction. The trajectory of the book is directed by movement from Gogol to Gogol. Its major assumption is that Gogol successfully develops a language for grasping the Neoplatonic concept of matter and subsequently rejects it, abandoning literature. Since then, the Gogolian form [sic!] of the image of a sheer negation of form has recurred frequently in Russian literature. Yet the direction of the movement is always towards Gogol. Somewhere at the margin of this circular trajectory, one can inscribe a Polish writer, Witold Gombrowicz, who established, one hundred years later, a similar rhythm governing Polish literature: from Gombrowicz to Gombrowicz.