Witold Gombrowicz; Translated by Danuta Borchardt

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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.

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.

A selection of Readers' Subscription. 

“Borchardt’s graceful, powerful, and inventive translation is a great gift to all lovers of Witold Gombrowicz’s quirky prose.”—Jaroslaw Anders

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

Praise for Ferdydurke:

“Extravagant, brilliant, disturbing, brave, funny, wonderful. . . . Long live its sublime mockery.”—Susan Sontag

“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.”—Booklist (starred review)

"It is a mystery—and [the characters] are detectives—unlike any others. . . . Sly, funny, absorbing. . . . The insight in these remarkable pages is creatively captivating and intellectually challenging."—Neil Gordon, New York Times Book Review

"Cosmos is a vicious and uncompromised little gem of the obscene. . . . It's a vicious, funny, existential comedy of manners and probably the nastiest vacation novel ever written; it's a book of failed solace, where no one is consoled by its geysers of ill will, except for, paradoxically, the reader."—Adam Novy, Believer



"The translation preserves Gombrowicz's voice, as well as the performativity and the ambivalence of the text."—Krystyna Lipinska Illakowicz, Slavic and East European Journal

Selected for AAUP Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2006
ISBN: 9780300108484
Publication Date: October 10, 2005
208 pages, 5 x 7-3/4

Sales Restrictions: For sale in North America only
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