Witold Gombrowicz (August 04, 1904 - July 25, 1969)
Born: 4th August, 1904
Died: 25th July, 1969
Nationality: Polish
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Russia, France
Notable works: theatrical production, "Ferdydurke"

Witold Gombrowicz Facts

Biography

Witold Gombrowicz, (born August 4, 1904, Maloszyce, Russian Empire [now in Poland]--died July 25, 1969, Vence, France), Polish novelist and playwright whose works were forerunners of the Theatre of the Absurd.

Gombrowicz's family were prosperous members of the gentry. He studied law at the University of Warsaw but abandoned his career to pursue his literary interests. After the initial huge success of his first novel, Ferdydurke (1937; Eng. trans. Ferdydurke)--a grotesque image of contemporary society that shocked the reading public--Gombrowicz visited Argentina, where he became stranded during and after World War II. Because he was considered an emigre writer, the publication of his works was banned in Poland; Institut Litteraire, a Polish publisher in Paris, introduced his postwar novels: Trans-Atlantyk (1953; Eng. trans. Trans-Atlantyk), Pornografia (1960; Eng. trans. Pornografia), and Kosmos (1965; Cosmos). He returned to western Europe in 1963 and settled in France, where he died.

Gombrowicz described Ferdydurke as the "grotesque story of a gentleman who becomes a child because other people treat him like one." The dominant theme of his writings is the innate immaturity of human beings. He portrays humanity as incapable of understanding the world without depending on the spurious knowledge and shallow opinions of others. The resulting sadomasochistic relationships, in which individuals hide their own ignorance and uncertainty while constantly trying to expose it in others, provide the substance of Gombrowicz's rather eccentric plots. The style and language of his plays are unique and highly idiosyncratic, as can be seen in Iwona, ksiezniczka Burgunda (1938; Ivona, Princess of Burgundia) and Slub (1953; The Marriage), and his diaries, Dziennik, 3 vol. (1953-66; Diaries), reflect similar peculiarities.

A revival of interest in Gombrowicz's writings, his plays in particular, began in the 1960s, first in Poland and then, eventually, in other countries. He was one of the most original Polish writers in the latter half of the 20th century. His dramatic plays anticipated the Theatre of the Absurd, which grew in popularity in postwar Europe, while his novels and the diaries commented critically on the modern human condition. An independent thinker, he challenged established opinions in virtually every field of human endeavour, often aiming his criticism at Poland and its intellectual elite.

Top 2 Witold Gombrowicz quotes

I didn't go to the lectures. My valet, who was more distinguished than I, went instead.
Distinguished
Go
Instead
Lectures
More
Than
Who
You are ugly when you love her, you are beautiful and fresh, vital and free, modern and poetic when you don't... you are more beautiful as an orphan than as your mother's son.
Beautiful
Free
Fresh
Her
Love
Modern
More
Mother
Orphan
Poetic
Son
Than
Ugly
Vital

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