By Witold Gombrowicz.
I really like this cover which was found on the first Portugese edition of the Novel. This was a re-read and I probably will re-read it again in a different translation. This is a translation not from the Polish directly but from the German and French editions. Thankfully there is a 2005 translation by Danuta Borchardt direct from the Polish but it will take a few weeks for me to get this from the US. The reason I am rereading Cosmos (despite it being my favourite Gombrowicz novel… possibly) is that I am contemplating turning it into a play. Which, as I read it again with a view to representing it on stage, seemed to become more and more problematic. With the new translation it may not be as difficult. I will just have to wait and see… There might not be such a strong internal voice leading to a dilemma as to how you can represent it on stage.
As for the book… this is one of the finest works of the 20th century – I have never read anything like it before or since. Berg.
By Witold Gombrowicz.
I seem to have got to the end of everything Gombrowicz has written which is a little disappointing. I feel like I want there to be something more. The third volume of his Diary is very interesting as it covers the period before he leaves Argentina, his sea journey and finally his reintroduction to the Europe he has been writing about and scrutinising from afar. He is now a literary star in Europe rather than the wayward bohemian he was in Argentina. As always he stirs things up when writing or speaking. This causes him some trouble in his homeland (Poland) but he doesn’t seem to care. All three diaries are excellent but perhaps this one is more of a story because there is a journey and Gombrowicz is the misunderstood central character waxing lyrical with nonsense and opinionated subterfuge. There are some fantastic passages when he speaks at a conference in Berlin. He tells us he speaks absolute nonsense and the students all nod their heads and listen turning the absurd into comprehension by their own creative sense of form. Which, is really the central obsession of Gombrowicz. I loved reading this Diary and now I probably only have disjointed articles written by Gombrowicz in various Journals still to read. Or perhaps a rereading of Cosmos or the new translation of Pornographia is on the cards.
Soundtrack: Broken Bells – ‘Your Head is on Fire’.