Cosmos A dark quasi detective novel Cosmos follows the classic noir motif to explore the arbitrariness of language the joke of human freedom and man s attempt to bring order out of chaos in his psycholog

A dark, quasi detective novel, Cosmos follows the classic noir motif to explore the arbitrariness of language, the joke of human freedom, and man s attempt to bring order out of chaos in his psychological life.Published in 1965, Cosmos is the last novel by Witold Gombrowicz 1904 1969 and his most somber and multifaceted work Two young men meet by chance in a Polish resoA dark, quasi detective novel, Cosmos follows the classic noir motif to explore the arbitrariness of language, the joke of human freedom, and man s attempt to bring order out of chaos in his psychological life.Published in 1965, Cosmos is the last novel by Witold Gombrowicz 1904 1969 and his most somber and multifaceted work Two young men meet by chance in a Polish resort town in the Carpathian Mountains Intending to spend their vacation relaxing, they find a secluded family run pension But the two become embroiled first in a macabre event on the way to the pension, then in the peculiar activities and psychological travails of the family running it Gombrowicz offers no solution to their predicament.Cosmos is translated here for the first time directly from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt, translator of Ferdydurke.

  • [PDF] Cosmos | by ✓ Witold Gombrowicz Danuta Borchardt
    383 Witold Gombrowicz Danuta Borchardt

  1. Witold Marian Gombrowicz August 4, 1904 in Ma oszyce, 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 the problems of immaturity and youth, the creation of identity in interactions with others, and an ironic, critical examination of class roles in Polish society and culture He gained fame only during the last years of his life but is now considered one of the foremost figures of Polish literature BiographyGombrowicz was born in Ma oszyce, in Congress Poland, Russian Empire to a wealthy gentry family He was the youngest of four children of Jan and Antonina n e Kotkowska In 1911 his family moved to Warsaw After completing his education at Saint Stanislaus Kostka s Gymnasium in 1922, he studied law at Warsaw University in 1927 he obtained a master s degree in law Gombrowicz spent a year in Paris where he studied at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales although he was less than diligent in his studies his time in France brought him in constant contact with other young intellectuals He also visited the Mediterranean.When he returned to Poland he began applying for legal positions with little success In the 1920s he started writing, but soon rejected the legendary novel, whose form and subject matter were supposed to manifest his worse and darker side of nature Similarly, his attempt to write a popular novel in collaboration with Tadeusz K pi ski turned out to be a failure At the turn of the 20 s and 30 s he started to write short stories, which were later printed under the title Memoirs Of A Time Of Immaturity From the moment of this literary debut, his reviews and columns started appearing in the press, mainly in the Kurier Poranny Morning Courier He met with other young writers and intellectuals forming an artistic caf society in Zodiak and Ziemia ska, both in Warsaw The publication of Ferdydurke, his first novel, brought him acclaim in literary circles.Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Gombrowicz took part in the maiden voyage of the Polish cruise liner, Chrobry, to South America When he found out about the outbreak of war in Europe, he decided to wait in Buenos Aires till the war was over, but was actually to stay there until 1963 often, especially during the war, in great poverty.At the end of the 1940s Gombrowicz was trying to gain a position among Argentine literary circles by publishing articles, giving lectures in Fray Mocho caf , and finally, by publishing in 1947 a Spanish translation of Ferdydurke written with the help of Gombrowicz s friends, among them Virgilio Pi era Today, this version of the novel is considered to be a significant literary event in the history of Argentine literature however, when published it did not bring any great renown to the author, nor did the publication of Gombrowicz s drama lub in Spanish The Wedding, El Casamiento in 1948 From December 1947 to May 1955 Gombrowicz worked as a bank clerk in Banco Polaco, the Argentine branch of PeKaO SA Bank In 1950 he started exchanging letters with Jerzy Giedroyc and from 1951 he started having works published in the Parisian journal Culture, where, in 1953, fragments of Dziennik Diaries appeared In the same year he published a volume of work which included the drama lub The Wedding and the novel Trans Atlantyk, where the subject of national identity on emigration was controversially raised After October 1956 four books written by Gombrowicz appeared in Poland and they brought him great renown despite the fact that the authorities did not allow the publication of Dziennik Diaries , and later organized

334 Reply to “Cosmos”

  1. How many sentences can one create out of the twenty four letters of the alphabet How many meanings can one gleam from hundreds of weeds, colds of dirt, and other trifles Polish author Wiltold Gombrowicz explores the notions of order in a seemingly random, chaotic world in his 1967 novel Cosmos Winner of the International Prize for Literature , which, as translator Danuta Borchardt asserts in her introduction, was second in importance only to the Nobel Prize , this psychological novel bombards, a [...]

  2. Witold I A CosmosPrelude Why How What an absurdity Anyhow, here goes, Witold and I, and our silent adventure Part I The EnticementWitold approached me in the park today He asked me to read his latest book Just needed an opinion, he said.I knew he was getting to be a big shot in Poland these days I also knew he had been dabbling quite a bit in Philosophy at the University So when he gave me his book, I was sure I would end up looking for philosophy in it even though he assured me it was just a bi [...]

  3. I looked around and saw whatever there was to see, and it was precisely what I didn t want to see because I had seen it so many times before pines and fences, firs and cottages, weeds and grass, a ditch, footpaths and cabbage patches, fields and a chimney the air all glistening in the sun, yet black, the blackness of trees, the grayness of the soil, the earthy green of plants, everything rather black The universe is a strange place It is full of strange things But one must have Witold Gombrowicz [...]

  4. Some time ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about women, specifically the art of figuring out which ones are interested in you, and he was saying that he never felt confident that he was reading the signs right and that this lack of confidence, in a sense, paralysed him, so that he rarely approached them He wanted to know how I managed it How was it that I was always so sure Well, I let him in on a little secret stop worrying about signs, as you ll only confuse yourself A gla [...]

  5. Sparrow hanging in senseless success A choked chicken adds to the symbol equation Fish face s boss hates him In an accident they stay the night Her mouth was a big bang Everything means nothing, and behind that mouth this mouth If you fuck someone you fuck everyone they have ever sheet between Her mouth behind other her mouth, his hands on her hands your hands Can t pick out ugly star from hot star from her sun star on his glow worm White ceiling skies betray signs Dyslexic mystery The cat cruci [...]

  6. The copy of Cosmos that I own had been read previously by a college student who clearly wouldn t have read it otherwise At first, his marginalia are serious and boring, like his essays no doubt It s clear he had read a textbook, remembered a term or two from it, watched how his professer used it, waited for his chance to parrot him It s also clear that he was also not thinking for himself Then, beginning on page 70 wherein a violent killing is described , he gets fed up He stops thinking through [...]

  7. Zuks Confound me An absurd sight of a sparrow hung from a string begins this unique tale of great paranoia and even greater mental contrivance The central idea is of how a chaotic world is routinely, perpetually, even grudgingly, willed by us human beings into some sort of an order, and how the effects of this willing add in turn to the chaos Meaning thereby that man s position in the world, while necessarily that of an observer and a learner, is also, out of that same necessity, that of an acto [...]

  8. Indizioni, indiziucci, indiziaccionastri, ti ri ti, ti ri ti Si esce alquanto storditi e forse, a giudicare dal titolo che ho messo, un po rincretiniti dalla lettura di questo libro sconcertante che l autore stesso defin un romanzo che si crea da s , mentre lo si scrive , dando l idea di una deriva che trascina i personaggi, la trama, il mondo e la fantasia del lettore in direzioni imprevedibili e vertiginose Il tutto si svolge dietro l apparenza di un filo conduttore rappresentato dapprima da u [...]

  9. If there is anyone who knows what the things are behind, in spite of and within themselves, it was this guy I would go for is though, as, I believe, now he still knows it, only somewhere else To stop connecting, to stop associating Because it leads to madness But then try not to.In a way we are all mad, connecting and associating In a way it is this madness that makes us be what we are.There is also an interesting passage on bringing yourself pleasure Out of a mouth of a nearly madman or not, it [...]

  10. Diyaloglar sevdim, tasvirlere bay ld m Ayr nt lar birbirine arp t rarak buradan kurgu karmaya al an zek y da sevdim E ek ar s E ek ar s girdi i eriye O y zden k p rdand bu yazd m, sars ld , ama ray ndan da kmad B t n bu aban n gitgide daha ok s la mas ndan rahats z oldum, Fre dyen sembolizm, onun da zoraki bir versiyonundan ba ka hi bir yere ba lanamayacak imgelerden rahats z oldum, sve kral geliyor akl ma, kitapta da ge iyordu, imdi burada da ge iyor, karakterin akl ndaki s ramalar e er izaha g [...]

  11. Two young men show up at a bed breakfast in the Polish countryside They ve come there to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and have some peace and quiet, but it turns out to be anything but not only do they find a macabre and mystifying corpse nearby, but the family they get to live with seems to have a lot of unresolved issues, which the two youngsters soon find themselves caught up in and as always in these types of stories, somebody s going to die before it s all over.Cosmos [...]

  12. 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 accur [...]

  13. A few years ago people started to use the phrase mental masturbation to describe conversations involving an Ivy League bull session esque, punctilious analysis focused to a fault on details, or on the wildly hypothetical, such that they do not offer any use in the real world Reading this short novel detective story confession , translated from the original Polish, I am happy and relieved to report a different and better use for this phase The main character in this book, a young man who is vacat [...]

  14. The style Gombrowicz uses in Cosmos reminds me of jazz Not quite in the pseudo improvisational bent the way the beats interpreted it, but the structure behind it You have a finite number of familiar notes, chords, scales, and yet through arrangement, rhythm, and sheer ingenuity a player can rapid fire out a galaxy of unique interpretations of it That s how Gombrowicz uses language here, once he latches onto a particular word he then makes it part of his repertoire for the rest of the novel, drop [...]

  15. In un inestricabile groviglio di fenomeni, oggetti e persone che il mondo sensibile l uomo veste i panni dell investigatore alla ricerca delle tracce che portino all eliminazione del caos dei simboli e dei segni, che costituiscono la frammentaria e caotica realt circostante, tramite la creazione di una ragnatela fatta di sottilissimi fili di connessioni e collegamenti tra fatti ed eventi Dal caos al cosmos Ma il caos invincibile, i fili si spezzano e quella realt che Gombrowicz definisce un mucc [...]

  16. I am convinced that most people read novels such as this, can make neither hide nor hair of it, but are afraid that admitting as much is to admit that they are unable to grasp depth and meaning in the depthless and meaningless I give this two stars only because I have a rule about allowing one star for translation Either the translating helped the novel and the translator deserves a star, or the translator hurt the book, in which case the author should be rewarded a conciliatory star I read one [...]

  17. Ieri sera ho terminato Cosmo Ho chiuso il libro e mi sono addormentata Mi arrivato un sogno Il sogno era una voce Trascrivo quanto mi da detto La consapevolezza che non esiste un ordine possibile, ma solo fili sconnessi che non si uniranno mai a formare una trama sensata, e che tutto casuale, pu travolgerti come una vertigine E allora ti capita di forzare un senso alla realt , con la stessa cocciutaggine con cui da bambina cercavi di infilare ad una bambola un vestito troppo stretto Ma la realt [...]

  18. some spoilers follow So here s the thing I didn t want to read this book It s been on my girlfriend s shelf for a while, and even though the younger me would certainly read it eagerly, the current me avoids such titles I read it though, and even worse, I m writing a review The problem with books like Cosmos is that you can either give 5 stars or 2 or perhaps even 1 Giving 5 makes you a pretentious intellectual, giving 2 means you didn t understand the book and you re trying to rationalize it by [...]

  19. birdicktuths.A comprehensive synopsis of Gombrowicz s masterpiece.If one of the spirits of literary Modernism was the search for meaning in an increasingly anomic world, Cosmos answers the call and then some anything suggests everything else The resulting order of things is as comically absurd as it is horrific The all too real world of Cosmos and its all too human instigator victim protagonist, the eponymous Witold Gombrowicz, confound any attempt at discerning whether these esoteric associatio [...]

  20. Lucidit e follia a braccetto nella notte, l ultimo romanzo scritto in vita da Gombrowicz fa del mimetismo la sua arma principale.Un passero impiccato e un impianto da giallo che con il passare delle pagine, degli indizi, scarta in direzione opposta rispetto al genere, allontanandosi sempre pi dalla soluzione, senza per questo per perdere il lettore per strada, anzi Un romanzo suddivisibile in due parti, ben distinte, ma complementari, quasi claustrofobica la prima, quanto fantastica la seconda.N [...]

  21. Great translation Gombrowicz uses a barrage of neurotic, repetitive language that creates a sense of absolute paranoia and psychological horror Did that windowpane look at me with a human eye

  22. I ll lose cool points here, but that s okay This book just did not work for med was basically a chore to read Perhaps its thrust was lost in the translation of the translation, as a fellow reviewer reports above I m all for an explication of an illness or mental disease, and I do think this book tweaks the underpinnings of something resembling OCD But merely for irritainment rather than illumination.Perhaps it could have been a beautiful poem, where its redundance would have felt like an echo t [...]

  23. As if he were hoping to scare the less dedicated students out of an overenrolled philosophy class, Kierkegaard once started off a book with something like The self is a relation that relates itself to the self Gombrowicz seems to have grabbed hold of this tangle and run with it deep into the mountains of Poland, where an ever larger succession of hanged animals and the mental intertwining of a deformed mouth with a smoother, prettier one occupy and torment the protagonist on an otherwise slow du [...]

  24. I started out disliking this book because of the confusing and rambling use of language and apparent lack of plot, but it started growing on me about halfway through The narrator s world walks this strange line between reality and paranoia, sanity and craziness, and builds this sense of foreboding and tension that pulled me in The unusual style marked with a neurotic repetition of images, made up words, and run on sentences made me feel like I was actually inside the brain of the perhaps mentall [...]

  25. time behind time in front of time with object behind object in front of object hanging there hanging here in front of us behind us pointing towards something pointing away from something pointing towards everything pointing away from everything showing us what we could believe or perceive showing us what we will believe or perceive showing us what we had believed or perceived showing us what was believed and perceived before an us during an us and after an us before an I during an I and after an [...]

  26. The last line of this novel reads, Today we had chicken fricassee for dinner If you are thinking, you SOB, why didn t you check spoiler alert, do not worry, for no such thing has happened Cosmos is surely the oddest novel I have ever read, and though it does have a plot of sorts, it s sheer intensity overcomes normal considerations of such As the bumptious landlord insists, My good man Have you ever put on your thinkie cap You re dreaming, cooking it up, you think you ll catch it all in your gr [...]

  27. A sparrow hanged on a piece of wire, a woman s deformed lip, and the whole cosmos of connections between them, produced by human mind Lukasz Pruski s entry in the contest Summarize Gombrowicz s Cosmos In Fewer Than 140 Characters The vagaries of memory I do not remember much from my first trip back to the Old Country a scant twenty five years ago yet I clearly remember surreptitiously reading Witold Gombrowicz s Bacacay under the desk during my high school history class exactly fifty years ago I [...]

  28. The absurdism of Albert Camus mixed with a Hitchcockian psychological thriller Cosmos fits in with the post WWII, philosophic, what the hell is the point of life style of novel Much of the staccato sounds of the novel are reminiscent of the minimalist music of the post war period too The narrator tries to piece together occurrences and fascinations that, to the reader, would never carry relevance Gombrowitcz seems to be saying, there s no meaning in any of this, the only meaning that life and th [...]

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