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Trans-Atlantyk

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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,238 ratings  ·  27 reviews
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.
Paperback, 152 pages
Published August 30th 1995 by Yale University Press (first published 1950)
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Lalka by Bolesław PrusFerdydurke by Witold GombrowiczKrew elfów by Andrzej SapkowskiSolaris by Stanisław LemKamienie na szaniec by Aleksander Kamiński
Best Polish Books
68th out of 380 books — 296 voters
The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno SchulzLalka by Bolesław PrusQuo Vadis by Henryk SienkiewiczFerdydurke by Witold GombrowiczPan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz
Best Polish Literature
41st out of 80 books — 48 voters


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Community Reviews

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Andrew Bourne
Difficult. The translation does enslime the already slippery play of the premise, cranked through 2 continents and spoke on several tongues. For the steeliest fans it merits a slow exasperating rereading. There is yelling and whispering both, and repetition. There is a rushing from place to place and a pleading for pesos. I feel as though it is certainly good in Polish and when read by a Pole, but in English (and Olde English to boot) not as gratifying as his other reads. It's a difficult shape...more
Jaga
Incredible, grotesque presentation of the insufferable insanity of Polishness. Proverbial heroism, hospitality, religiousness, all streaked with malice, pettiness and selfishness. Also, it's untranslatable, sorry.

PS. Yes, I know it was actually translated but it cannot convey the author's intention. Which is sort of paradoxical considering Gombrowicz's postulate was to create universal literature and here we have a book written in a crazy brew of Sienkiewicz's vernacular of 17/18th century nobi...more
Marina
Trans-Atlantyk is a remarkably funny satire written in a fast-paced style. I seem to have been lucky in that I read this novel in the superb Spanish translation by Mexican author Sergio Pitol and Kazimierz Piekarek. For those disappointed English readers: there may be a forthcoming new English translation by Danuta Borchardt, who writes the fg concerning the (need for a new) translation:
The previous translation by Carolyn French and Nina Karsov was directly from the Polish. It is a valiant atte...more
Judyta Szaciłło
Read in original, and I can't really imagine how on earth it can be translated. The rythm of the language, the play of words, the absolutely unique phrasing - oh my, it must have been a tough challenge for the translator. Dream-like and painfully real at the same time. And very interesting from purely historical point of view - a Polish guy stranded in Argentina after the WW2 broke out. An insight to a rich, complex soul living in shocking times.
Tom
This is not light reading. The book is an English translation of a Polish book which satirizes an antiquated style of Polish novel. Obscure enough for you? Actually, it's more readable than I describe. More than satire, the book seems to be a surreal trip down the rabbit hole. I wish I had a few of my Polish speaking friends living in the neighborhood so they could shed a bit of light upon it for me.
Marek Tomalski
Owóż powieść ta to kapitalna rozprawa Gombrowicza z polskością. „Polemika z Panem Tadeuszem” to lektura zabawna, ciekawa pełna genialnego humoru ale i nierówna zarazem., Język gawędy szlacheckiej, barokowy, efektowny ale „tyż” i męczący, zwłaszcza przy kulminacji.

Jednakowoż te Gombrowicza zgrywy, szarże, gryzienia, kopania i szarpania z „Synczyzną” warte są przeczytania i polecenia zarazem.
Magda Kasprzyk
"Trans Atlantyk jest między innymi satyrą. I jest także, między innymi, dość nawet intensywnym porachunkiem [...] z Polską taką, jaką stworzyły warunki jej historycznego bytowania i jej umieszczenia w świecie (to znaczy z Polską s ł a b ą). I zgadzam się, że jest to statek korsarski, który przemyca sporo dynamitu, aby rozsadzić nasze dotychczasowe uczucia narodowe."

Witold Gombrowicz
kasia
I really like Gombrowicz, but this book just doesn't do it for me. I've read it at least 4 times now, and while I enjoy it a little more each time, I still just don't like it that much.

-- And yet again... still can't seem to enjoy this book.
Huśtawka Arytmiczna
Ulubiony obrazek: polskie plemię stłoczone w piwnicy, wbijające w się ostrogi; otwarte drzwi i niemożność wydostania się.
Kobe Bryant
This book would have obviously been a lot better in the original language but what am I gonna do, learn Polish?
Andrew
Like the James Joyce of Poland.
Monica Carter


Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz is one of those books that I wish I could read in the original language because I know that then I would be reading the true essence of the book. And in this case, a probable masterpiece. But after having read this translation, I can only recommend it to people who must read all Gombrowicz, Polish literature fanatics and those people interested in homosexual literature at all costs to patience. This is a tough read. Not because of the style itself, but because...more
julieta
Que desesperante libro!!! Es sátira, surrealismo, locura total!!! Me recuerda al mood kafkiano, pero sin ser kafka, me pareció absurdo y medio divertido, aunque a veces lo quería tirar por la ventana. Seguramente tiene simbolismos que yo no llego a captar por toda la cuestión de que es escrito por un exiliado Polaco en Argentina ( de hecho por eso me llamó la atención) pero fué muy desesperante, la historia de gombrowicz, y todas las cosas que le suceden en buenos aires desde que llega (que pued...more
Marie-aimée
Un roman où le dérisoire est roi ! Le style utilisé par Gombrowicz est particulièrement déroutant, parce qu'il coupe sans cesse ses phrases par des archaïsmes, par la crudité du langage, le ton oral développé à l'extrême. C'est ce qui fait à mon avis l'intérêt de ce roman : l'exagération du grotesque pousse à une seconde lecture plus subtile.
Un petit extrait : "-Que Votre Seigneurie me pardonne, répondis-je, mais vanter mon propre bien, moi, ça me gêne.
-Voyez-moi ce cerveau creux, dit-il, cette...more
I Watts
"Therefore a small crumb of bread on an inkpot having noticed, I often upon this crumb but did look and it even with the end of my pen did touch... "

Gombrowicz is fantastically weird. Even in translation his unusual syntax delivers character, and moment with microscopic precision and humor. The details are absurd, the magnitude of minutia is his art, philosophy, and political commentary.
Djani Pervan
hard to read at start (translated version at least) crazy and weird and funny
Tony
I cannot say anything more about Gombrowicz - maybe it's just how refreshing his prose is compared to these 'postmodern' American stylists I've spent probably too much time reading lately...
Aleš
Read it twice - horrible both times, but that was my fault, because I just read through it - I didn't think. After thinking about it some more, it's a good book, at times even funny.
Tomek
This is another one of Gombrowiczz's novels that plays with tradition of writing and stereotypes of performing identities (such as national, sexual, itd). Funny, smart and short.
Víctor Sampayo
No puede ser, es el quinto libro que leo de Gombrowicz y con todos me la he pasado convulsionándome con unas risotadas absurdas, llenas de incertidumbres y Vacíos paradójicos...
Jesse
Oct 18, 2007 Jesse rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: him, them
How could it have taken me so long to read a 120 page book? At times it was kind of exasperating, at times uproarious. I liked it best when I was reading it aloud to a friend.
Smarta
A classical masterpiece. Difficult and challenging. However I believe it is best to be read in an original language.
Marcello La
I think one star is only too much for this book - at least, I didn't like it, at all
Stas
Mar 16, 2012 Stas marked it as to-read
I am dizzied and dazzled by this. Truly an event in my reading history.
Dan Rybarczyk
Dan Rybarczyk Dan czytał
Conor
Phenomenal
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Witold Marian Gombrowicz (August 4, 1904 in Małoszyce, near Kielce, Congress Poland, Russian Empire – July 24, 1969 in Vence, near Nice, France) was a Polish novelist and dramatist. His works are characterized by deep psychological analysis, a certain sense of paradox and an absurd, anti-nationalist flavor. In 1937 he published his first novel, Ferdydurke, which presented many of his usual themes:...more
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“A jak tak se svými Papíry a Myslí dováděl, inteligentněji se stával stále stále inteligentnějším a ta jeho inteligence, sama sebou rozmnožená a sama na sobě obkročmo sedíc, v tak ukrutnou inteligenci přerůstala, že člověka až hrůza jímala!” 2 likes
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