“Mankind is accursed because our existence on this earth does not tolerate any well-defined and stable hierarchy, everything continually flows, spills over, moves on, everyone must be aware of and be judged by everyone else, and the opinions that the ignorant, dull, and slow-witted hold about us are no less important than the opinions of the bright, the enlightened, the refined. This is because man is ...more
An odd story. Not Mloda Polska (thanks to the correction in comments) but a product of the inter war period. A man is taken out of adult life and made to live as a child, he is forced to return to school and given foster parent ...more
I remember a song from my youth—one we played on record players before households had stereos. A time when said record players still had a setting for 78 rpm, which is what we had to use to play this tune. One of those childhood memories which never really goes away. A song that was already old when we started listening to it.
We was out in California one time,...more
And we wandered lookin’ for a room, and this mad hotel,
And we got upstairs and opened the door and turned on the lights,
And there on th
I think about the basic assumptions of Ferdydurke regarding criticism and I can endorse them without reservation. There are enough innocent works that enter life looking as if they did not know that they would be raped by a thousand idiotic assessments!
To avoid this kind of assessment I decided to let Witold Gombrowicz speak about Ferdydurke himself. E ...more
Ferdydurke is a darkly satirical comedy that is considered modernist. The main protagonist and the narrator of the story, Joey Kawalski is ...more
With its tumbling prose, psychological acuity, and surreal gambits, the novel was so far ahead of its time that Gombrowitz included several digressions to discuss his methods and demonstra ...more
NR (No Rating)
A first for me, this No Rating. And though my index finger twitches on my mouse, dying to rate it if it but could, but how could it? How can anyone's index finger click on any rating? It almost begs to be given one star, cos, Oh my GR-systematizers, how can you, I or anyone like (or "like") this book? So one star should work, cos not only did "I did not like it" occur here, it is, (objectively speaking now!) positively ...more
This was the third or fourth of Gombrowicz's books that I've read. If it weren't for modernism's (and even postmodernism's) ongoing earnest self-regard, this book would be read alongside Finnegans Wake and other prewar novels that are postmodern avant la lettre. But Gombrowicz's theme in this book prevents him from displaying the sort of formal mastery and control that continues to be expected from maximalist and experimental authors in the wake of early 20th c. mo ...more
What is this pupa? It seems to be everywhere. As I understand it, it's the fulcrum of a boy's immaturity, centered in his butt, from which radiates ...more
Anyway, the story involves a thirty-something author (Gombrowicz) who, up to now, has produced a single ...more
The premise of the story is that our protagonist is somehow regressed into a teenager (all though he still looks like a 30-year-old...everybody just seems to overlook that). In school his classmates debate over purity vs. vulgarity as the ultimate expression of immaturity. When he is forced to live with a family that inclu ...more
Then, By necessity the concepts of immaturity and maturity will be abducted from its semantic sphere into a distorted and forbidding relation .the drift of the society into infantility and
The prevailing of the kitsch as a sign of modernity, the proliferation of triviaity , banality and again triviality, all these factors will take its toll on the writers of that society . And here comes the like of Gombrowicz ...more
However, the further I got into the book, the more I was annoyed with the slapstick humor and sickness of the author's mind. Call me stiff but I just don't find a miscarried fetus funny (okay, maybe ...more
I don't have the book with me, but the copy I have includes a quote from Gombrowicz that basically says one shouldn't spend a lot of time attempting to get to the "skeleton" beneath the text, and instead should judge the work on how well it dances. Or something like that.
In a way it's good advice - the book is entirely dictated by its own internal logic and language - but on the other ...more