Kosmos AUTHOR Witold Gombrowicz review Î 104

Kosmos AUTHOR Witold Gombrowicz

Witold Gombrowicz ç 4 Free download

04–1969 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. Witold I A CosmosPreludeWhy How What an absurdityAnyhow here goes Witold and I and our silent adventurePart I The EnticementWitold approached me in the park today He asked me to read his latest book Just needed an opinion he saidI knew he was getting to be a big shot in Poland these days I also knew he had been dabbling uite a bit in Philosophy at the University So when he gave me his book I was sure I would end up looking for philosophy in it even though he assured me it was just a bit of tom foolery No deep meaning I assure you He was very categorical about thatI flipped the pages Mildly interesting I told an eager WitoldI read on about a hanged sparrow about minute hands about deformed lips and about chance concatenation of events accompanied by increasing distractionI told Witold as much You need to correct the flow of events I told him Not surprising at all Witold winked at me because too much attention to one object leads to distraction this one object conceals everything else and when we focus on one point on the map we know that all other points are eluding usThat sounds deep I said and made to put down the book Oh no no Witold cried Just a mistake please be reading on I was only talking in general not at all in particular Of this book there is nothing particular to talk about at allNo philosophy at all then I asked just to confirm None at all Witold reassured No justification for it You know me I am all against philosophy he sat down on the next bench as if to add to the reassuranceI read on But the same events again started rushing in on me suffocatinglyNo justification I grumbled to myself The less justification it had the strongly philosophy inflicted itself upon me and became intrusive and difficult for me to shake off—if it had no justification then the fact that it was pestering me was all the significantPart II The Holy GrailThere had to be meaning Witold cannot make a fool of me What I need is resolveI resolved Who am I fooling I needed no resolveBut what was I supposed to read into it Of chance Of our uest for meaning Of the impossibility of meaning due to the abundance of themDistraction by the possibility of meaning Is that the web Witold has weaved for meIs what I am reading a metaphor for the very act of my reading In the reader's hunt for meaning in an author’s nonsense Should I accept this joke or accept the alternative of chance concatenation Is Witold testing my capability to raise myself above my tendencies or my ability to fulfill themI kept asking Witold But he was having too much fun drawing fake arrows for me to pursue knowing that I would eventually come to something that made relative sense to something of what he had written before he told me of the arrowI tried to focus only on what was happening in the story itself trying to ignore the knowing way Witold was leaning on his chair next to me but NOTHING was happening And if nothing was happening then a lot must surely be going on behind the scenes Surely WitoldNo answer now Not even the reassurances on the absence of philosophyHe knew I was too far goneShould I keep to it Trying to see if something new would happen if meaning would crystalize But distaste for this affair grotesue like an aborted fetus held me backThen led me onI hated Witold now He was irritating me even though he made no attempt to speak to me Both in person and as the author He had exhausted the topic Surely We both knew thatWhat rubbishPart III The Riddler in The MirrorI came back to what could make sense To the story as a metaphor for readingThe reader and the author Reading a metaphor for the very act of my readingBut it is an old trope to read that metaphor into everythingI cannot accept that I will notI knew Witold He would never be that transparent It would be too passé for WitoldMaybe it is about religion then About the priest and the man Why else would that atrocious priest figure in it God himself and ManOr politicsMaybe of anywhere and any circumstance where meaning is explained by one to the other thus opening up the possibility of a giant set upA mockery of the very existence of meaningBut that would bring me the reader into the story and we would be back at the metaphor of readingYet one also has to take into account the fact that I was struck by the story because it connected with my own preconceptions I thirst for meaning and therefore I singled out that thirst in this story too from many other things which are also probably talked aboutAnd so this confusion was partially of my own doingBut I could never know to what degree I was the perpetrator configuring the configurations around me oh the criminal keeps returning to the scene of the crime The reader is lostWitold I want to strangle you and hang you up on the nearest tree I screamed silentlyI’m noting only facts now as I read The facts and no others But why those They are like dots Something is emerging like a figure No the figure disappears it’s disappeared there is chaos and dirty excess EntanglementWhen one considers what a great number of sounds forms reach us at every moment of our existence the swarm the roar the river nothing is easier than to configure Configure Yet nothing is difficult Meaning is the most easy thing to conjure But to chose which meaning is impossibleWHAT IS IMPORTANT I wanted to screamWas something hiding behind this Did it all mean anythingIt is after all only about the search for meaningOr do we search for meaning to escape the drudgery of our daily life Like 'he' says in the book “Drozdowski anything to forget Drozdowski it was clear that he had latched onto this and would push it no matter what” Drozdowski being some distant Boss figureAnything to escape the next Monday I can relate to that Yes let that be the answer pleaseIs that the meaning of this book then that anyone searching for meaning has a dung heap of a lifeNoBut the ending tying everything back to reality I hated that the mostEverything had been cleared up the journey’s riddles settled on the dry sands of explanation it didn’t surprise me I was ready for it and yet it was tragic the puzzles I had worried about escaped from my fingers like debrisI had finished the bookWitold looked eagerly at me I did not let on that I had finishedPart IV The PurgatoryFor I had I started noticing Witold’s gaze on me as I read as if he was as paranoid as me worried that I was reading meanings into the text that he did not put inHaI had started smiling now and then uite meaningfully and made sure he saw where I was in the book of course sometimes and sometimes not This was funJust as all characters in the book become conspirators co conspirators and suspects in each others eyes I was loving how I was reenacting the drama in a smaller cosmos of only the two of us Just the two of us That is how a Cosmos should be   only the Subject and the Object Nothing else That would appeal to Witold’s beloved Great Thinkers I thought to myself I have something here But I am letting that strand slip WillinglyI thought to myself looking at Witold who was sitting a way away stealing glances at me If he really wrote this nonsense with any philosophy in mind it must have taken uite an effort to not let slip or maybe it takes uite an effort from me to avoid itFinally bored of the pretense I closed the book and gave it back to Witold and knowingly told him that it was great fun and complete nonsense just as he had toldI almost winked at him but that would have taken away from our now private jokePart V The After LifeWe contemplate the vastness of the Cosmos and this something is coming toward me like a forest yes a forest we say a “forest” but what does that mean how many tiny details trifles particles make up a small leaf of a single tree we say “forest” but this word is made of the un known the unfamiliar the unencompassed The earth Clods of dirt Pebbles On a clear day you rest among ordinary everyday things that have been familiar to you since childhood grass bushes a dog or a cat a chair but that changes when you realize every object is an enormous army an inexhaustible swarmWe smiled together in the moonlightAt the docile thought of the mind’s helplessness in the face of overwhelming confounding entangling reality No combination is impossible Any combination is possibleI had thought most deeply most intensely but without the slightest thoughtIn the end I told Witold I had to crush him too in case he did not mean it It is a refutation of philosophy A “Why think so much” uite banal in the endA screamed uestion Not a gentle oneHe replied “Gratify yourself with yourself ”I noddedBanish the word “Why” We need a song about that

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A dark uasi 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 lifePublished in 1965 Cosmos is the last novel by Witold Gombrowicz 19. Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a SmokeFor a sign to be a sign there must be an intention which is uite independent of the object which constitutes the sign itself Finding intention and therefore meaning is a tricky business It reuires imagination which projects meaning onto objects making them signs by magic as it were This creates a mystery “For every sign deciphered by accident how many might go unnoticed buried in the natural order of things as if the surrounding reality was already contaminated by the possibility of meanings”This density of ephemeral signs is the character of religious imagery a multitude of self referential signs authorised literally by accepted convention and extended everywhere But it is also the character of sex in which the most unlikely objects “needles frogs sparrow stick whiffle tree pen nib leather cardboard et cetera chimney cork scratch drainpipe hand pellets etc etc clods of dirt wire mesh wire bed pebbles toothpick chicken warts bays islands” can become signs and sources of sexual stimulation that is fetishes A fetish is a sign of only itself; it is the feeling it creates A fetish is therefore a linguistic dead end; it is the antithesis of an ikon which makes connections elsewhereFetishism is a slippery slope As the patient responded to his psychiatrist’s Rorschach inkblots “You’re the one with all the dirty pictures” If religion sees everything as having its source in the divine there should be little mystery in how some see the world as entirely sexualised Intention projected is intention perceived Hence paranoia maintains itself with all the evidence it needs “How sticky is this cobweb of connections”Gombrowicz’s protagonist says “What attracted me to the “behind” the “beyond” was the way that one object was “behind” the other” Of course what’s ‘behind’ a fetish is not ‘out there’ but ‘in here’ But in here is the last place anyone wants to look Fetishes are dirty shadow side things In terms of projected meaning the closest thing to religion and sex is death the ultimate shadow And no one relishes the idea of introspection about death and its fetishes A problem arises however when the desire to keep the projected meaning of death external leads to a self protecting action murder thus confirming the objective otherness of death Even if the victim is only a cat the point is made death is there not here the ultimate projection And a satisfying outcome for the fetishist But nonetheless even this is uncertain “Such a trifle on the very boundary of chance and non chance what can one know” Cosmos goes considerably beyond Gombrowicz’s fellow Pole Stanislaw Lem in his exploration of epistemology Lem’s His Master’s Voice for example considers the difficulty in distinguishing signal and noise from outer space For him meaning must be presumed in order to find meaning but not a particular meaning Gombrowicz presents a rather complex situation the human compulsion to assign specific definite meaning from a sort of inner space The result of this compulsion is much difficult to decipher than alien transmissions About intentions “What can one know one can’t know anything nothing is known”

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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 Ferdydurk. The copy of Cosmos that I own had been read previously by a college student who clearly wouldn't have read it otherwise At first his marginalia are serious and boring like his essays no doubt It's clear he had read a textbook remembered a term or two from it watched how his professer used it waited for his chance to parrot him It's also clear that he was also not thinking for himself Then beginning on page 70wherein a violent killing is described he gets fed up He stops thinking through the textbook or through the mouth of his professer and he begins to well not think but at least speak for himself He also makes the amateur's mistake of relating to the characters and not their master Here are a few of his commentsp 74 assholep 86 OMG he is such a narcissistp 92 why this book is a bore In regards to the narrator's inability to concentratep 109 enough wthe fucking sparrow p 145 ditto for main character In regards to someone having a screw loosep 160 Book in a nutshell next to this passage The eyes of boredom old buddy are bigger than those of fearp 167 removed from this worldp 172 oh jesusp 173 you me both dude next to this passage I don't even know if it is a storyp 175 too self absorbed to see the signs In regards to someone's suicidep 181 OCD weirdoI confess I loved his commentary I didn't ever agree with it but I yearned to hear I would have liked to have been reading this book aloud to him preferably at his bedside while he lay in a full body cast Cosmos is obsessive repetative in story and style mind rumbling and hilarious It is weird and the narrator is a weirdo So I do sometimes agree with the college student Yes I think we'd get along well together as long as I could resist the urge to spill hot tomato soup down the throat of his cast who I have to admit would these days probably be diagnosed with OCD and other things Fortunately he lived in a time when crazy could take over the page and make lovely horrible fictions never to be bogged down by the clinical the catagorized the dull What a wonderful weirdo is he


About the Author: Witold Gombrowicz

Witold Marian Gombrowicz August 4 1904 in Małoszyce near Kielce Congress Poland Russian Empire – July 24 1969 in Vence near Nice France was a Polish novelist and dramatist His works are characterized by deep psychological analysis a certain sense of paradox and an absurd anti nationalist flavor In 1937 he published his first novel Ferdydurke which presented many of his usual themes


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