legal authorities? These are the deliberately banal in- gredients that Witold Gombrowicz combines in his novel Cosmos. The story is presented through the. Cosmos and Pornografia: Two Novels [Witold Gombrowicz, Eric Mosbacher, Alastair Hamilton] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Here are. COSMOS. By Witold Gombrowicz. Translated by Danuta Borchardt. pp. Yale University Press. $ A Polish student, seeking peace and.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Gkmbrowicz saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Cosmos by Gombrowiczz Gombrowicz.

Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz. Published inCosmos is the last novel by Witold Gombrowicz — and his most somber go,browicz 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: A Novel: Witold Gombrowicz, Danuta Borchardt: : Books

Cosmos is translated here for the first time directly from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt, translator of Ferdydurke. Hardcoverpages. Published October 10th by Yale University Press first published Premio Formentor de las Letras for International To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Cosmosplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Smoke For a sign to be a sign there must be an intention which is quite independent of the object which constitutes the sign itself. Finding intention, and therefore meaning, is a tricky business. It requires imagination, which projects meaning onto objects, making them signs by magic as it were. This creates a mystery: A fetish is a sign of only itself; it is the feeling it creates.

A fetish is therefore a linguistic dead end; it is the antithesis of an ikon, which makes connections elsewhere. Fetishism is a slippery slope. Intention projected is intention perceived.

Hence paranoia maintains itself with all the evidence it needs. Fetishes are dirty, shadow-side things. In terms of projected meaning, the closest thing to religion and sex is death, the ultimate shadow. And no one relishes the idea of introspection about death and its fetishes.

A problem arises however when the desire to keep the projected meaning of death external leads to a self-protecting action – murder – thus confirming the objective otherness of death. Even if the victim is only a cat, the point is made: And a satisfying outcome for the fetishist. But nonetheless even this is uncertain: For him, meaning must be presumed in order to find meaning but not a particular meaning.

Gombrowicz presents a rather more complex situation, the human compulsion to assign specific, definite meaning from a sort of inner space. The result of this compulsion is much more difficult to decipher than alien transmissions. View all 12 comments. Sep 24, s. How many meanings can one gleam from hundreds of weeds, colds of dirt, and other trifles?


A Noveland his masterpiece Ferdydurke. Gombrowicz exposes the human desire to create order from the randomness that beleaguers their existence in order to view the world as cos,os safe, functionary society in which they are mature and essential cogs instead of a chaotic void in which we are merely immature and irrelevant.

The plot of this novel is highly secondary, and consists of the narrator, a college youth on holiday named Witold, accompanying a classmate to an out of the way pension in order to study in peace.

In the darkness of the forest, they discover a hung wutold, which wutold off a seemingly connected or are they? Through this sleuthing, the reader is invited into the feverish mind of Wiltold the narrator to question the nature of signs and deciphering symbols from randomness.

Do they really cosmks onto covert codes, or is it the human desire to construct meaning? The sentences are long and rambling, meandering through a convoluted psyche that is troubled by a growing paranoia. It takes a good portion of this short novel for the reader to get a firm footing, and cossmos the powerful imagery and poetry of Pornografiagpmbrowicz the absurd Monty Python-esk comedy and literary investigations of FerdydurkeCosmos is intentionally bland.

These tidbits of the bizarre are constantly reexamined in his mind, ordered and picked up one by one to turn over, caress, and put back as if they were treasured items in a collection, done so an overwhelming multitude of times that the repetition is very likely to chafe on the reader.

For being short in length, the novel slogs forward through the muck of mangled reality and by the time the reader reaches the incredible and exciting conclusion, the book may have worn thin on their patience.

Despite the few cumbersome aspects of this novel, Gombrowicz shines with his acute sense of subtly and paranoia. The narrator is constantly on the lookout for associations, gombriwicz staggering when another character mentions something offhanded that can vaguely associate with the thoughts in his head.

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The characters in the novel crave order, desire some map composed of meaning and method to abate our fear of randomness and chaos. They make order in their lives with marriage, religions, and divine a clear explanation for any of their actions. The chaos of nature threatens their worldview.

Here is where we also find the priest, lost in the wilderness as Gombrowicz takes his standard jabs at religions method of proclaiming meaning in a meaningless world. Here is where the true nature of the title, Cosmos, a word never used in the novel is exposed. To Gombrowicz, the cosmos, the universe, is a chaotic void deplete of meaning. This notion, expressed best in Pornografia: A Novel when narrator Witold observes an atheist praying in church and drops into a vision of the church floating aimlessly in a void, seems to have finally grown into a full-fledged theme in Cosmos, pointed and poked at but never overtly mentioned.

The major theme from Ferdydurkethat of immaturity, has also blossomed in this novel. The adults, those who are looked at as pillars of society and the family, most notably the bank manager, is a mere buffoon who uses childish wordplay and singsongy phrases. All these onanstic and detective themes of the novel come together for a startling conclusion that really makes all the pieces fit together and hum.


Cosmos is a wonderful read, difficult and annoying at times, but full of thoughts to ponder and reflect over. It would be very much advisable to have read his earlier novels first to fully appreciate the ideas at play here and to draw many of the connections left open for the reader, plus I cannot recommend many novels more highly than I do Ferdydurke.

The examination of such small ‘trifles’, as they are often called, to complete a larger picture reminded me much of Susan Glaspell and her one act play Trifleswhich also consists of characters playing detective and illuminating a larger truth from a dead sparrow and other trifles, however, I cannot ascertain any actual connection between the two beyond simple coincidence which, considering this novel, is rather ironic to me at present.

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Cosmos (Gombrowicz novel) – Wikipedia

Dec 15, Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it Recommended to Riku by: A Cosmos Prelude Why? Anyhow, here goes, Witold and I, and our silent adventure: The Enticement Witold approached me in the park today. He asked me to read his latest book. Just go,browicz an opinion, he said. I knew he was getting to be a big shot in Poland these days.

Two Men Try To Make Sense Of The ‘Cosmos’

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 bit of tom-foolery.

No deep meaning, I assure you – He was very categorical wotold that. I flipped the pages. Mildly interesting, I told an gombroowicz Witold. I read on, about a hanged sparrow, about minute hands, about deformed cosmis and about chance concatenation of events… accompanied by increasing distraction.

I told Witold as much. You need to correct the flow of events, I told him. Not surprising at all, Witold winked at me, because too much attention to one object leads to distraction, this one object conceals everything else, and when we focus on one point on the map we know that all other points are eluding us. That sounds deep, I said, and made to put down the book.

Oh no, no, Witold cried.

Just a mistake, please be reading on! I was only talking in general, not at all in particular. Of this book, there is nothing particular to talk about at all. No philosophy at all then? I asked, just to witolr.

None at all, Witold reassured. No justification for it. You know me, I am all against philosophy, he sat down on the next bench, as if to add to the reassurance. But the same events again started rushing in on me, suffocatingly. No justification, I grumbled to myself. The less justification it had the more strongly philosophy inflicted itself upon me and became more intrusive and more difficult for me to shake off—if it had no justification, then the fact that it was pestering me was all the more significant!

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