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Pornografia

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,829 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Gombrowicz's strange, bracing final novel probes the divide between young and old while providing a grotesque evocation of obsession. While recuperating from wartime Warsaw in the Polish countryside, the unnamed narrator and his friend, Fryderyk, attempt to force amour between two local youths, Karol and Henia, as a kind of a lewd entertainment. They become increasingly fr ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 1994 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published 1960)
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Tijana
Počnimo izjavom kako je ovo, eto, Gombrovičeva knjiga, a Gombrovič je autor moje možda najdraže rečenice o odnosu prema knjigama (i životu) od svih rečenica o odnosima prema knjigama (i životu) na celome svetu:

Profesor: - Kako te to ne oduševljava, Galkjeviču, jesam li ti hiljadu puta objašnjavao da te oduševljava.
Galkjevič (rezignirano): - Ali to mene ne oduševljava.

A inače: pa eto, tipičan Gombrovič. Crni humor, bizarni humor, parodiranje književnih tradicija, parodiranje psihološke analize n
...more
Bonadext
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libri-folli
Gombrowicz è considerato il più grande scrittore polacco del 900 (insieme a Bruno Schulz), e questa "Pornografia" (il titolo è ironico) è la prima opera che leggo dell'autore.
Sono rimasto subito colpito dal suo stile, una scrittura semplice e di facile lettura, ma sempre molto originale e direi anche moderna. La storia è semplice, è una storia di campagna, grottesca, disuguale nei suoi enigmi, molto dostoevskiana (tanto mi ha ricordato l'autore russo), ruota tutta attorno a due signori di mezz'
...more
Tony
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, polish
This is one of those books about the duplicity of this lifeless journey, where a man is riding to church as if he were actually riding to church when of course he is not even he and he is definitely not riding to church. Fryderyk is probably France and people watch simple pastoral settings but it's all about Poland before and during the Second World War. So it's fun for awhile trying to figure out what the names mean and who's Chamberlain, who's Hitler. Then it's not so much fun anymore.

This cou
...more
s.p
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gombrowicz has never failed to amaze me. While this book is not quite on the same level as Ferdydurke, it is still stunning. Like Ferydurke, the themes of "youth" and "maturity" are still highly prevalent and key to the novel, but here these themes are regarded in a completely different fashion. With Pornografia, he shows the power held in youth and his disgust for his fellow "grown man" as two adults toy with the lives of two teenagers, pushing them to act in subtle ways as if they were trying ...more
Teresa
Feb 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-polonia, e1
Witold Gombrowicz
(1904-1969)
é considerado um dos maiores nomes da literatura polaca. As suas obras caracterizam-se por uma profunda análise psicológica e um certo sentido do paradoxo e absurdo.
(Wikipédia)

A Pornografia
Aviso: Não tem qualquer cena pornográfica.
Assunto: Dois homens de meia idade que espiam dois adolescentes.
Resultado: Li-o a bocejar, obscenamente, de tédio.
Conclusão: Não percebi nada...
Ben Winch
An off-the-wall classic, part war thriller, part philosophical enquiry, written by a Polish emigre living in Argentina in 1960 who had arrrived on a cruise ship 20 years earlier and when the Second World War broke out decided not to go back, Pornografia has a deliciously unreal element to it. From the first page (one of the most arresting in literature) this is theatrical, but with the atmosphere and three dimensions that only a novel can supply. The plot is bizarre: two ageing intellectuals (on ...more
Dajana
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O pljuvanju čitaocu u lice, o šamaranju svih načina na koji zamišljamo ljubavni roman, o ismevanju našeg osećaja za fabulu, o vrhunskoj pornografiji, o filozofskim konceptima, o piscu koji ne uspeva da bude narator, i povrh svega, o prirodi erotike, želje, Prirode i koncepata muškosti-ženskosti.

Ako vam se učini da je roman besmislen, pročitajte još jednom. Odmah. Pa još jednom.
Zadao je domaći zadatak svima koji vole interpretaciju i pokazao im njihove pervertirane umove. Ovo je roman koji postav
...more
Sanja
Goodreads ocenjivanje kaže da trojka znači 'liked it', ali ja je ovde koristim kao 'nije mi se svidelo, ali priznajem i poštujem kvalitet'. Drugim rečima: nije za mene, ali razumem zašto se ljudima dopada.
Frabe
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un amico m'aveva chiesto quale fosse il significato di Pornografia. Risposi: “Cercherò di essere il più chiaro possibile. Come si sa, l'uomo tende all'assoluto. Verso la pienezza. Verso la verità assoluta, verso Dio, verso la piena maturità... L'imperativo che lo guida è: comprendere tutto, realizzarsi pienamente. In Pornografia invece appare un altro obiettivo che guida l'azione dell'uomo: esso è diverso, più segreto e forse più clandestino, è il suo bisogno della Non-pienezza... della Non-perf ...more
Dagio_maya
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europea
“un romanzo sensualmente metafisico”

Varsavia 1943. Mentre in tutta Europa infuria la guerra, un gruppo di artisti cerca di far sopravvivere degli spazi di libertà:

” Ancora mi pare di vederli, seduti o semisdraiati in una nube di fumo, uno un po’ scheletrito, l’altro un po’ acciaccato, ma tutti urlanti e sbraitanti a più non posso. Uno che grida: “Dio!”, l’altro: “Arte!”, il terzo: “Nazione!”, un quarto: “Proletariato!” e giù a discutere come pazzi, sempre la stessa solfa: Dio, l’arte, la naz
...more
Monica Carter
Nov 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Youth is wasted on the young.
George Bernard Shaw


Nothing would seem more true than Shaw's quote according to Gombrowicz's narrator, Witold Gombrowicz. Pornografia,Gombrowicz's novel that missed winning the International Prize for Literature by one vote in 1960, features the eponymous narrator of the author and his compatriot in obsession, Fryderyk. Beginning with Gombrowicz's first meeting with Fryderyk, "a middle-aged guy..., dark and lean, with an aquiline nose", we know that Fryderyk easily,
...more
Richard Stopford
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Aside from being a brilliantly unnerving story, practically hallucinatory in its intensity, it's got to be the only book I've read which uses modal metaphysics to explore issues of identity, ethics and desire. Rather than running through the story, it's more interesting to consider the complex notion of pornography in the novel and what that could mean.

The narrator - Gombrowicz himself - and his friend become obsessed with a young couple who are actually no more than children who have grown up t
...more
Pietro
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seduzione per procura

Questo mio primo Gombrowicz mi ha lasciato di stucco; ho letto Pornografia con un mezzo sorriso sornione e la bocca lievemente aperta per lo stupore: che prosa, che storia, quali piacevoli assurdità e quanti ottimi ragionamenti! Casualmente, la lettura che ha preceduto Pornografia è stata La morte a Venezia, fatto che ha creato piacevoli paralleli tra Mann e Gombrowicz. Curioso notare come entrambi, ognuno a suo modo, abbiano analizzato la dentatura dei rispettivi oggetti
...more
Allan MacDonell
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aspiring masturbators should be warned that Witold Gombrowicz’s Pornografia contains no hardcore sexual activity. There is bodily penetration, but only by knives. All of the climaxes and most of the carnality that pops up throughout the novel arise from the intense physical intimacy people share when they murder one another through stabbing. Set in Poland during the Nazi occupation, a Poland never visited by Gombrowicz, who irrevocably expatriated prior to the war’s onset, Pornografia’s atmosphe ...more
Mark Van Aken Williams
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Witold Gombrowicz was Polish, but lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His fiction is thoroughly Latin American. Yet he is the antithesis of Borges. His style is full of savagery and manic obsession. The contrasts of desire and impotence, along with deception and illusion, brilliantly merge into psychological drama. He is nothing short of the godfather of Bolaño.
Goma
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will have to read it several more times to fully appreciate the form and the thought behind this story.
The novel sparkles with tension and is full of tiny details which grow to great sizes and swell up with hidden meanings. The author had an eagle eye surely because he managed to describe in detail the most vague and mysterious of human behaviours.
Leon Marks
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tried reading Gombrowicz in advance of my Poland vacation in two weeks, but it just never pulled me in; unlikable characters, minimal dialogue, language a bit too abstract; I had to abandon it half way.
Héctor Genta
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le cose sono come ci appaiono. Guardando le interpreto, le faccio mie trasfigurandole. Questo, a grandi linee, è il pensiero che Gombrowicz sviluppa in quella ideale trilogia nella quale Pornografia si pone a metà strada tra Ferdydurke e Cosmo. Seguendo l’assunto esposto, ne consegue che ognuno di noi “vede” un suo mondo e legge ogni fatto in maniera personale, con la conseguente scomparsa dell’oggettività, di una verità condivisa. Un mondo quindi per ogni persona, ma anche due mondi che si fron ...more
Jim
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two middle-aged mean, named Witold and Fryderyk, go to an estate in the Polish countryside during the German occupation. There, they are entranced with the idea of a young man named Karol and a young woman named Henia falling in love with each other. In the meantime, serious events intervene -- which seem to have little effect on W and F: They still continue with their monomania.

It seems that Henia is actually affianced to an attorney named Vaclav. Vaclav's mother Amelia is unaccountably knifed
...more
Vladimir
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It is difficult to write the review for the books like this. There are books with a clear and well defined plot, written with the superior style and one enjoys reading them because they are so nicely set. There are other type of good books where the main characters are words. They have such magical attraction that they draw into the text and you feel so good by reading it regardless what is it about. This book is of the later kind. I've read it in Serbian translation (my compliments to the trans ...more
Kathleen
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Gombrowicz is a unique writer, very difficult to translate into English. This book was translated by a winner of the Polish government's "Found in Translation" award, which she won partly on the basis of this translation. What I find interesting about Gombrowicz is that his two biggest insights into human nature--that even as adults we all feel immature and that people's personalities change depending on whom they interact with--are turned by him into very interesting and provocative novels and ...more
Scott Lapierre
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and disturbing. Ribald and base but at the same time brainy and removed. Can be read like a dirty joke or a complex modernist treatise on voyeurism, generation gaps, war, and a whole slew of other unrelated topics. But most importantly, it's extremely fun to read. The translator (and I assume Gombrowicz himself) captures a staccato, disjointed, contradictory, sometimes breezy, sometimes stilted language that convincingly feels like an unfiltered transcript direct from a human brain. An ...more
Sem Morbi
Nijednoj knjizi nisam dala jedinicu pa neću ni pornografiji, ali ne ponovilo se! Bar ne u sledećih deset godina.
Andrii Mironchenko
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
This novel is like a theatre of the Absurd. But, in contrast to the absurd in Kafkas novels it is not cold and passionless like a state. It is idiotic as a human.
Svetolik Taštinski
Razodenuti je lep glagol
Katherine
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
3.5 stars...I think? I have to let this one settle a bit more.
Dwight
Dec 04, 2012 added it
My comments with additional links

The summary from the Publishers Weekly review (taken from Bacacay: The Polish Literature Weblog):

While recuperating from wartime Warsaw in the Polish countryside, the unnamed narrator and his friend, Fryderyk, attempt to force amour between two local youths, Karol and Henia, as a kind of a lewd entertainment. They become increasingly frustrated as they discover that the two have no interest in one another, and the games are momentarily stopped by a local murder a
...more
Johnny
Sep 20, 2017 added it
If it had at least some pornography, maybe the book would be a little less boring.
John David
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
When reaching the end of a novel, rarely do I have so much to say, and also so little. This was my first experience with Gombrowicz, and it was a bewildering, exciting one. It has elective affinities with Kundera that make it a unique, and not wholly pleasurable, read. About one third of the way through the novel, I wasn’t sure that I would make it the rest of the way. The purely distilled, unrelenting psychological depictions of its characters and occasional absurdism can sometimes make it ardu ...more
Williwaw
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: coffee house intellectuals
There were flashes of brilliance here, but also a whole lot of dullness. Is this really among the best that 20th century literature has to offer? If so, then I'm ready to go back to science fiction and suspense novels for a long time.

Gombrowicz (or at least his eponymous character) seems to feel a lot of disgust for mature folks. He and his character seem to be suggesting that the old can only live through the young. But the opposite observation seems equally compelling to me: that youth could n
...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Missing edition 2 29 Aug 15, 2015 05:21PM  
gombrowicz 1 26 Sep 30, 2007 02:30PM  
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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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