Jesse's Reviews > Cosmos

Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz
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's review
Apr 16, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: him, them
Read in April, 2009

Be warned: Cosmos is a long 189 pages. It is tedious during most of the first half, then explodes with power. More tedium follows, escalating to the point that it becomes nail-biting tension. A tedious denoument follows a thrilling climax. Overall, the book offers maybe a 3:1 tedium/thrill ratio and no middle-ground. Gombrowicz's translated prose here is not near as dynamic as that found in Bacacay or Trans-Atlantyk. I expect that has to do with the translators' various weighings of the demands of accuracy and style. The Cosmos/Pornografia two-fer features a different translation and it may be worth a reader's time to compare the two.

Translation issues aside, it is hard to imagine a Cosmos with the energy and charm of Trans-Atlantyk. As a psychological study, though, the book is admirable and as a polemic against boredom and solipsism, it is actually quite moving.
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