One of the indisputable totems of twentieth-century world literature, Witold Gombrowicz wrote Pornografia after leaving his native Poland for Argentina in 1939 and then watching from afar as the German invasion destroyed his country. Translated for the first time into English from the original Polish by award-winning translator Danuta Borchardt, Pornografia is one of Gombrowicz’s highest regarded works—a richly imagined tale of violence and carnality set in wartime Poland. In the midst of the German occupation, two aging intellectuals travel to a farm in the countryside, looking for a respite from the hellish scene in Warsaw. They quickly grow bored of their bucolic surroundings—that is, until they are hypnotized by a pair of country youths who have grown up alongside each other at the farm. The older men are determined to orchestrate a tryst between the two teenagers, but they are soon distracted by a string of violent developments, including an order from the underground movement for the men to assassinate a rogue resistance captain who has sought refuge with them. The erotic games are put on hold—until the two dissolute intellectuals find a way to involve their pawns in the murderous plot.
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Born in Poland in 1904, Witold Gombrowicz moved to Argentina just before the outbreak of the Second World War and lived there, virtually unknown, writing novels, short stories, and plays before taking up residence in France. His death in 1969 was a great loss not only for Polish literature but for the world of letters.
Writer, translator, and retired psychiatrist Danuta Borchardt has also translated Witold Gombrowicz's novels Ferdydurke and Cosmos. Her short stories have been published in Exquisite Corpse.
Starred Review. Gombrowicz's strange, bracing final novel probes the divide between young and old while providing a grotesque evocation of obsession. While recuperating from wartime Warsaw in the Polish countryside, the unnamed narrator and his friend, Fryderyk, attempt to force amour between two local youths, Karol and Henia, as a kind of a lewd entertainment. They become increasingly frustrated as they discover that the two have no interest in one another, and the games are momentarily stopped by a local murder and a directive to assassinate a rogue member of the Polish resistance. Gombrowicz connects these threads magnificently in a tense climax that imbues his novel with a deep sense of the absurd and multiplies its complexity. Gombrowicz is a relentless psychoanalyzer and a consummate stylist; his prose is precise and forceful, and the narrator's strained attempts to elucidate why he takes such pleasure at soiling youth creepily evoke authentic pride and disgust. Borchardt's translation (the first into English from the original Polish) is a model of consistency, maintaining a manic tone as it navigates between lengthy, comma-spliced sentences and sharp, declarative thrusts. (Nov.)
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Book Description Grove Press, NY, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing). A new edition translated by Danuta Borchardt. Bookseller Inventory # 047705
Book Description Grove Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0802119255
Book Description Grove Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New. Pristine. Stated 1st. No markings. Jacket not clipped. // Shipped carefully packed in a sturdy box. Bookseller Inventory # 012197
Book Description Grove Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110802119255