Polish Memories by Witold Gombrowicz

By Witold Gombrowicz

Translated via invoice Johnston

Although Witold Gombrowicz’s detailed, idiosyncratic writings comprise a three-volume Diary, this voluminous record deals few proof approximately his youth in Poland earlier than his books have been banned there and he went into voluntary exile. Polish Memories—a sequence of autobiographical sketches Gombrowicz composed for Radio unfastened Europe in the course of his years in Argentina within the overdue 1950s—fills the distance in our knowledge.
Written in a simple approach with out his well-known linguistic innovations, the publication offers an attractive account of Gombrowicz’s youth, formative years, literary beginnings, and fellow writers in interwar Poland and divulges how those reviews and members formed his probably outlandish strategies in regards to the self, tradition, artwork, and society. moreover, the publication is helping readers comprehend the various autobiographical allusions in his fiction and brings a brand new point of knowing and appreciation to his lifestyles and work.

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Extra resources for Polish Memories

Example text

As a consistent idler I decided to do nothing at all, particularly because there was in fact nothing that could be done beyond commending myself to the care of the Almighty. And so the fatal day came, in April, I believe, 1922. We all took our seats in the largest hall in the school, each on a separate bench so as to prevent cheating, and in deathly silence we were given the topic for our Polish essay. I wrote a lot and was quite pleased with myself. The real tragedy began the following day, when a sheet of paper appeared on my desk bearing a Latin text that was to be translated.

And solemn. These were the kinds of leaps I made between clownishness and gravity, between playing the fool and real suffering. And all the while I was unable to cope with the whole Polish farce, with that disequilibrium of ours. It was an ocean in which I was drowning; yet I also carried it within myself. From Rabka I made a brief excursion to Zakopane; one evening, entering Trzaska's or Karpowicz's, at a table in the depths of the restaurant I spotted a familiar face: Boy-Zeleriski! 44 Polish Memories I didn't know him personally, but I knew who he was: a writer, representing intelligence, talent, Europe.

The lady engineers and lady lawyers who visit from Poland still appear rather formal alongside the Argentinians with their easy ways, and their manner of expressing themselves is still marked by a mania for titles, though these are now bourgeois and bureaucratic rather than noble in character. When certain customs are on the wane, they succumb to a kind of sclerosis; they lose their living core, and what remains is merely the stiffness of "pure form," as Witkiewicz would have put it. Now, I found myself fascinated by this formalism.

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