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Witold Gombrowicz quotes (showing 1-30 of 98)

“Man is profoundly dependent on the reflection of himself in another man's soul, be it even the soul of an idiot.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Don't be fooled by your own wisdom”
Witold Gombrowicz
“Rzecz prosta, im mądrzejszy czytelnik, tym i książka okaże się mądrzejsza; im zaś czytelnik głupszy i bardziej jałowy, tym i książka będzie głupsza.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Bacacay
“We say 'forest' but this word is made of the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unencompassed. The earth. Clods of dirt. Pebbles. On a clear day you rest among ordinary, everyday things that have been familiar to you since childhood, grass, bushes, a dog (or a cat), a chair, but that changes when you realize that every object is an enormous army, an inexhaustible swarm.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“For Kierkegaard, for Heidegger, for Sartre, the more profound the awareness, the more authentic the existence. They measure honesty and the essence of experience by the degree of awareness. But is our humanity really built on awareness? Doesn't awareness--that forced, extreme awareness--arise among us, not from us, as something created by effort, the mutual perfecting of ourselves in it, the confirming of something that one philosopher forces onto another? Isn't man, therefore, in his private reality, something childish and always beneath his own awareness? And doesn't he feel awareness to be, at the same time, something alien, imposed and unimportant? If this is how it is, this furtive childhood, this concealed degradation are ready to explode your systems sooner or later.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Diary: Volume 1
“Great! I've written something stupid, but I haven't signed a contract with anyone to produce solely wise and perfect works. I gave vent to my stupidity...and here I am, reborn.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Our element is unending immaturity.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Wielka Poezja będąc wielką i będąc poezją nie może nie zachwycać nas, a więc zachwyca!”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Any artist who respects himself ought to be, and in every sense of the term, an emigre.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“Great poetry must be admired, because it is great and because it is poetry, and so we admire it.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Beauty beheld in solitude is even more lethal.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Against the background of general freakishness the case of my particular freakishness was lost.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Serious literature does not exist to make life easy but to complicate it.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“Not surprisingly, because too much attention to one object leads to distraction, this one object conceals everything else, and when we focus on one point on the map we know that all other points are eluding us.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos
“I could have protested of course, who says I couldn't--I could have risen to my feet at any moment, walked up to them, and--no matter how difficult it would have been--made it abundantly clear that I was not seventeen but thirty. I could have--yet I couldn't because I didn't want to, the only thing I wanted was to prove that I was not an old-fashioned boy!”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“You, oh mature ones, keep company solely with other mature ones, and your maturity is so mature that it can only chum up with maturity!”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“I am a collection of the family's body parts.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Joey, it's high time, dear child. What will people say? If you don't want to be a doctor, at least be a womanizer, or a fancier of horses, be something... be something definite...”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Dzieje kultury wykazują, ze głupota jest siostrą bliźniaczą rozumu, ona rośnie najbujniej nie na glebie dziewiczej ignorancji , lecz na gruncie uprawnym siódmym potem doktorów i profesorów. Wielkie absurdy nie są wymyślane przez tych, których rozum krząta się wokół spraw codziennych. Nic dziwnego zatem, że właśnie najintensywniejsi myśliciele bywali producentami największego głupstwa. / The history of culture shows that foolishness is a twin sister of wisdom. It does not flourish on the fields of pure ignorance but on the fields tirelessly plowed by doctors and professors. Great absurdities do not flourish where one is busy with everyday life. No wonder that sometimes most vigorous thinkers come up with utmost stupidities. (Dziennik 1956, XIX, Thursday)”
Witold Gombrowicz
“I placed no trust in faiths, doctrines, ideologies, institutions. Thus I could stand only upon my own feet. But I was a Pole, molded by Polishness, living in Poland. And so I needed to look deeper for my ‘self,’ in the place where it was no longer Polish but simply human”
Witold Gombrowicz
“I became bold because I had absolutely nothing to lose: neither honors, nor earnings, nor friends. I had to find myself anew and rely only on myself, because I could rely on no one else. My form is my solitude.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“W polowie drogi mojego zywota posrod ciemnego znalazlem sie lasu. Las ten co gorsza byl zielony.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“I even stopped walking to give some thought to the fact that everyone, after all, wants to be himself, so I too want to be myself, for example who would love syphilis, of course no one loves syphilis, but after all, a syphilitic man also wants to be himself, namely a syphilitic, it is easy to say "I want to be well again," and yet it sounds strange, as if to say "I don't want to be who I am.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos
“To contradict, even in little matters, is the supreme necessity of art today. ”
Witold Gombrowicz, A Kind of Testament
tags: art
“It was too late to retreat - the world exists only because it is always too late to retreat.”
Witold Gombrowicz
“Homeland is not a blot on a map but the living essence of man”
Witold Gombrowicz
“A universal style is one that knows how to embrace lovingly those not quite developed. ”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Don't change the beggar into a conqueror, because it was the beggar who led you to conquest.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“Many a beauty in her own room behaves repulsively till one splits one's sides.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke
“If you were to stare at this box of matches, you could extract entire worlds out of it. If you search for tastes in a book, you will certainly find them because it was said: seek and ye shall find. But a critic should not rifle, search. Let him sit back with folded arms, waiting for the book to find him. Talents should not be sought with a microscope, a talent should let people know about itself by striking at all the bells.”
Witold Gombrowicz, Diary

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