Witold Gombrowicz Pornografia: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780802145130

Pornografia: A Novel

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9780802145130: Pornografia: A Novel

The place is Poland, in the early years of the German occupation. Pornografia's narrator, an author named Witold Gombrowicz, meets a swarthy and overly formal man named Fyderyk at a Warsaw house party, and the two soon become engaged in a business of a dubious (if not downright criminal) nature. When an acquaintance of theirs, a corpulent provincial landowner named Hipolit, requests that they come stay with him to discuss some of his city affairs, it is not hard to convince them to leave the claustrophobic city for the fresh air of the countryside.

Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit's farm: Henia, Hipolit's daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol's pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm's edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia's engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia's fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be.

Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk's games. First, Vaclav's mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm's residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken.

The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest.

Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol's pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav's mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian's room and finish him off.

But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian's room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking Vaclav for Siemien, murders him. The narrator's frivolous mind games are suddenly made very real, and as the book ends they are, for the first time, and in their moment of catastrophe, brought closer than ever before to their young pawns.

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About the Author:

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.

From Publishers Weekly:

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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Witold Gombrowicz
Editore: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0802145132 ISBN 13: 9780802145130
Nuovi Paperback Quantità: 10
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Descrizione libro Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The place is Poland, in the early years of the German occupation. Pornografia s narrator, an author named Witold Gombrowicz, meets a swarthy and overly formal man named Fyderyk at a Warsaw house party, and the two soon become engaged in a business of a dubious (if not downright criminal) nature. When an acquaintance of theirs, a corpulent provincial landowner named Hipolit, requests that they come stay with him to discuss some of his city affairs, it is not hard to convince them to leave the claustrophobic city for the fresh air of the countryside. Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit s farm: Henia, Hipolit s daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol s pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm s edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia s engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia s fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be. Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk s games. First, Vaclav s mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm s residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken. The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest. Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol s pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav s mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian s room and finish him off. But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian s room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking Vaclav for Siemien, murd. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780802145130

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Witold Gombrowicz
Editore: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0802145132 ISBN 13: 9780802145130
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Descrizione libro Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The place is Poland, in the early years of the German occupation. Pornografia s narrator, an author named Witold Gombrowicz, meets a swarthy and overly formal man named Fyderyk at a Warsaw house party, and the two soon become engaged in a business of a dubious (if not downright criminal) nature. When an acquaintance of theirs, a corpulent provincial landowner named Hipolit, requests that they come stay with him to discuss some of his city affairs, it is not hard to convince them to leave the claustrophobic city for the fresh air of the countryside. Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit s farm: Henia, Hipolit s daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol s pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm s edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia s engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia s fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be. Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk s games. First, Vaclav s mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm s residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken. The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest. Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol s pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav s mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian s room and finish him off. But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian s room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking Vaclav for Siemien, murd. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780802145130

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Descrizione libro Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press. Paperback / softback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Pornografia, Witold Gombrowicz, Danuta Borchardt, The place is Poland, in the early years of the German occupation. Pornografia's narrator, an author named Witold Gombrowicz, meets a swarthy and overly formal man named Fyderyk at a Warsaw house party, and the two soon become engaged in a business of a dubious (if not downright criminal) nature. When an acquaintance of theirs, a corpulent provincial landowner named Hipolit, requests that they come stay with him to discuss some of his city affairs, it is not hard to convince them to leave the claustrophobic city for the fresh air of the countryside. Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit's farm: Henia, Hipolit's daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol's pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm's edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia's engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia's fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be. Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk's games. First, Vaclav's mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm's residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken. The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest. Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol's pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav's mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian's room and finish him off. But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian's room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking. Codice libro della libreria B9780802145130

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Witold Gombrowicz (author), Danuta Borchardt (translator)
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Descrizione libro Grove/Atlantic, Inc. 2010-10-12, New York, 2010. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780802145130

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Descrizione libro 2010. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria IB-9780802145130

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