Witold Gombrowicz


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A “creatively captivating and intellectually challenging” existential mystery from the great Polish author—“sly, funny, and . . . lovingly translated” (The New York Times).
Winner of the 1967 International Prize for Literature
Milan Kundera called Witold Gombrowicz “one of the great novelists of our century.” Now his most famous novel, Cosmos, is available in a critically acclaimed translation by the award-winning translator Danuta Borchardt.
Cosmos is a metaphysical noir thriller narrated by Witold, a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns. In need of a quiet place to study, Witold and his melancholy friend Fuks head to a boarding house in the mountains. Along the way, they discover a dead bird hanging from a string. Is this a strange but meaningless occurrence or is it the first clue to a sinister mystery?
As the young men become embroiled in the Chekhovian travails of the family that runs the boarding house, Grombrowicz creates a gripping narrative where the reader questions who is sane and who is safe.
“Probably the most important 20th-century novelist most Western readers have never heard of.” —Benjamin Paloff, Words Without Borders
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204 printed pages
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  • Michelle Olivareshas quoted2 years ago
    namely that he and I were both sinking, each in his own creations, in his own way, he in the past, I in all those trifling details
  • Michelle Olivareshas quoted2 years ago
    something else was preoccupying me, something that had no flesh, it was the relation of the speed with which closer objects came and went, to the slower coming and going of objects farther away, and also in comparison to the quite distant ones that almost stood still—that’s what was preoccupying me. I thought that during a ride objects appear, only to disappear, objects are unimportant, the landscape is unimportant, the only thing that is left is appearance and disappearance. A tree. A field. Another tree. It passes
  • Michelle Olivareshas quoted2 years ago
    and the house is there, while we are moving farther and farther away

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