More Gombrowicz

Another CONTEXT 20 article worth pointing out is Michael Pinker’s Reading Witold Gombrowicz. As mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan and think everyone should read at least Ferdydurke. And Pinker’s article provides a great introduction:

Gombrowicz’s art envisages the tyranny of what he calls form. In his view, obeying the dictates of form is central to the human condition, ordering our relations with the world and ourselves. What others make of us—what we make of them—the form with which we invest them—determines our character in the world around us. As a result, the world is ambivalent, dualistic, experienced as an unnerving tension between the antinomies Gombrowicz regards as underlying all human activity: immaturity and maturity, superiority and inferiority, beauty and ugliness, and so on. Instead of age and maturity holding sway over youth and immaturity, the latter are really what the former desire—witness our fascination with, and efforts to prolong, youth. Compelled by this desire to recall youthful energy, innocence, and childish naivety, maturity defers to immaturity and, despite appearances, is defeated by it.

It also appears that Dalkey is reprinting Gombrowicz’s A Kind of Testament this fall.

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