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Based loosely on Gombrowicz’s own experiences as an expatriate, Trans- Atlantyk is steeped in humor and sharply pointed satire, interlaced with dark visions of. Witold Gombrowicz (), novelist, essayist, and playwright, is considered by many to be the most important Polish writer of the twentieth century. Author. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Gombrowicz () is best known in this Look inside this book. Trans-Atlantyk by [Gombrowicz, Witold].

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Review by Mieke Chew — Published on June 16, You sail to Buenos Aires on the Chombry as a cultural ambassador of Poland.

The natural, dutiful response is to pile back aboard with your countrymen and head home to Europe. You line up on the dock with your bags and wait.

Then, something—a big something—makes you turn around.


You leave your group and slip through the crowd and into the streets, never to see Poland again. So began the self-imposed exile of Witold Gombrowicz. There is no direct equivalent in English. This slippery, tricky style is offered to the reader in a slim novel that is a joy to read. Susan Atlxntyk, who wrote the introduction to the Yale edition, tussled with Borchardt over the complex word pupa.

The cultural critic and novelist insisted it should become rump. Neither would budge, and they finally settled on leaving it as-is: Although Ignatio is, unlike the sickly Tadzio, a strapping lad, these boy-men share the same appeal.

They are beautiful gombroqicz they are full of life and urgent sensuality, always threatening to expire before it fades: Tadzio is dying; Ignatio is enjoying the last few days with his father before heading off to war. All goes asunder when this hodgepodge of men sits facing each other at a bar.


trnas Witold and his employers are named as seconds. Things are quickly out of hand. The winner will atlajtyk whoever is first to draw blood, but puffs of smoke draw nothing: Meanwhile, a cavalcade gallops past, chasing imaginary hares.

Their real intention is to ride by the duel and catch a glimpse of the bloodshed, which will, of course, never occur. Intellectuals are the real sad cases of Trans-Atlantyk ; they are the most pompous and false strata of society. Soon enough, they are back to socks. For Gombrowicz, all social customs strangle the individual, cutting him off from spontaneity.

Trans-Atlantyk – Wikipedia

He even gave this system a name: True to form, whenever things get a bit much for the great, genius writer Witold, he drops to his knees—indeed, the humbling gesture of prayer, but also, lest we forget, the gesture of being knighted. With willful absurdity, Gombrowicz will describe almost anything, including a man twiddling his thumbs for seven lines. The man, in this case, is debating whether Witold has disgraced Poland aylantyk not returning. After circling the question, the man decides that Witold is neither at fault nor not at fault: He condemns anyone who mimics, be it twiddling, flattery, manners, respect, or military action.

At one point, without any warning, Atantyk is carried off and thrown into a dark cellar, where the industrialist trio have decided to imprison each other and their employees. They strap spurs to their shoes and, if anyone tries to leave, whoever is closest sticks the would-be-escapee vombrowicz the leg, or in whatever atlanryk of flesh they can catch.

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Why would they do this to each other? What is keeping them there in the dark?

Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz

Nothing but each other. For Gombrowicz, everything is empty—the world itself is a big fat empty gesture: Instead of trying to be an upstanding member of the community, he actively tries to pervert it. He celebrates sons not fathers, life instead of duty, frivolity over dignity.

While reading Trans-Atlantyk I often thought of the trite phrase: Gombrowicz did not look down his nose at worn-out expressions and he always had the last laugh. Not between laughing and gomvrowicz. Between laughing and falling to your knees. Mieke Chew is the editor in chief of Higher Arc magazine. She lives in Brooklyn. Grappling with Cure gombriwicz Eli The Humphrey Davies Interview The world of Arabic literature in English has changed a great deal in the last decade, accordin The Obituary by Gail Scott In a world where most stories trnas produced under severe restrictions of time, space, and genre, The Valerie Miles Interview The idea was to uncover the secret life of these texts, why do their creators consider them the