COSMOS
Witold Gombrowicz Published by: Yale University Press, 2005 Strony / Pages: 189, hard cover ISBN: 0-300-10848-6
List price: $24.95(Save 15% off)Online price: $21.21

Translated by:
Danuta Borchardt

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This dark, surreal tale of two holiday boarders in a Polish country house explores the bizarre lengths to which people at loose ends will go to create meaning in their lives. As one boarder puts it, "When you're bored, God only knows what you might imagine!" The two young men, who meet on the road, are drawn to a particular rooming house because a sparrow has been hanged nearby on a piece of wire hooked over a branch. Upon this avian crime scene, the men soon build great nests of conspiracy and obsession, following arrows they perceive in ceiling stains and rifling through other people's rooms for such clues as a nail pounded partway into a wall just above the floor. But while they might not solve their mystery, the boarders do manage to pierce the emotional lives of their host family and uncover the odd ways they deal with their own existential predicaments. Narrated by one of the boarders in a rambling, repetitive, stream-of-consciousness, sometimes bleakly comic style that heightens the tension as the man becomes more and more unglued by and enmeshed in his mad investigation, this 1965 novel--one of four the Nobel-nominated Gombrowicz wrote before his death in 1969--will hold special appeal for fans of Camus' The Stranger. In this deft new translation, Cosmos, appearing in the U.S. for the first time, reveals itself as a challenging but important work.
by: Frank Sennett

Review

Jaroslaw Anders :
"Borchardt's graceful, powerful, and inventive translation is a great gift to all lovers of Witold Gombrowicz's quirky prose."-Jaroslaw Anders

Susan Sontag :
Praise for Ferdydurke:
"Extravagant, brilliant, disturbing, brave, funny, wonderful. . . . Long live its sublime mockery."-Susan Sontag

Stanislaw Baranczak :
Praise for Ferdydurke:
"This promises to be, at last, the English translation of Ferdydurke that we have all been waiting for."-Stanislaw Baranczak, Harvard University

Book Description:

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 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.

About the Author:
WITOLD GOMBROWICZ - wrote three other novels, Trans-Atlantyk, Pornografia, and Ferdydurke, which, together with his plays and his three-volume Diary, have been translated into more than thirty languages.
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