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By Witold Gombrowicz

Milan Kundera known as Witold Gombrowicz “one of the nice novelists of our century.” His most famed novel, Cosmos, the recipient of the 1967 foreign Prize for Literature, is now on hand in a severely acclaimed translation, for the 1st time at once from the Polish, via the award-winning translator Danuta Borchardt.

Cosmos is a metaphysical noir mystery narrated through Witold, a seedy, pathetic, and witty scholar, who's captivating and appalling through turns. On his solution to a calming holiday he meets the despondent Fuks. As they trigger jointly for a family-run pension within the Carpathian Mountains they find a useless poultry putting from a string. is that this an odd yet meaningless prevalence or is it the start of a string of surprising occasions? because the younger males turn into embroiled within the Chekhovian travails of the relations operating the pension, Grombrowicz creates a gripping narrative the place the reader questions who's sane and who's safe?

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Com eleven 12 thirteen 14 1510 nine eight 7 6 five four three 2 1 To my husband, Thom Lane, with gratitude for his aid, either technical and private, throughout the translation —D. B. Translator’s word while I learn Cosmos a long time in the past, i assumed how fantastically it's going to learn in English. I translated a number of chapters and submitted them to Professor Stanislaw Barańczak. i used to be diverted to translating Ferdydurke, Witold Gombrowicz’s ground-breaking first novel. Now i've got come again to Cosmos, for which Gombrowicz received the Editor’s foreign Prize for Literature, moment in significance in basic terms to the Nobel Prize, in 1967. this is often the 1st translation of Cosmos at once from the Polish. Cosmos is now thought of by way of a few to be the main deepest of Gombrowicz’s works. it's a starkly self-revealing paintings through the guy who, in his Testament—Conversations with Dominique de Roux, acknowledged approximately himself: “I am a slapstick comedian, a clown, a tightrope walker, a provocateur, my works stand on their head to delight, i'm a circus, lyricism, poetry, terror, fight, enjoyable and games—what extra do you need? ” this is often what one faces within the technique of translating his works, really Cosmos. the radical demands empathy, focusing past the nitty-gritty of the narrative itself. Gombrowicz’s variety has been defined as “mad, breathless, occasionally jerky, occasionally lazy. ” think the duty confronting the translator who needs to locate the suitable phrases to be able to accomplish, in English, what Gombrowicz has set earlier than us, and for which, in spite of everything, he supplied no solution—only poultry fricassee for dinner. allow me point out a few of the dilemmas I encountered whereas translating this paintings. in general talking, to show the feel of the paintings (its characters, topics of darkness and obsessions) because it built lower than his pen, Gombrowicz used lengthy sentences, repetitions, lists of phrases, a lot of them with out commas. i've got left those components unchanged. due to the fact departure from house is one in every of Gombrowicz’s topics, the oscillation among the English “house” and “home”—the note in Polish, dom, being an identical in either instances—required specific recognition. The phrases “shame” and “embarrassment” are in Polish one and an identical observe, wstyd. It used to be very important to determine which of the 2 nuances Gombrowicz had in brain while conversing approximately Lena and her cat. She was once, i made a decision, ashamed of the cat. with the intention to increase the onanistic subject of the booklet, Gombrowicz selected the Polish expression swoj do swego po swoje, which he used to express a succession of meanings. actually it potential “himself to his personal for his own,” and it refers to purchasing stuff out of your personal people—a far away cousin to “buy American,” or, extra for my part, “getting one’s gratification from one’s personal. ” It first seems to be, innocently adequate, in a single of Fuks’s comments as early because the moment bankruptcy of the e-book, after which, within the moment part, it gathers momentum and gravity as Gombrowicz offers it self-gratifying, onanistic implications. It appeared essential to use a development of English expressions—from Fuks’s “whatever turns you on,” to Venomie’s “her personal self, only for herself”—to in attaining a passable influence with no violating the unique textual content.

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