By Witold Gombrowicz

Just prior to the outbreak of global warfare II, younger Witold Gombrowicz left his domestic in Poland and set sail for South the USA. In 1953, nonetheless residing as an expatriate in Argentina, he all started his Diary with certainly one of literature's so much memorable openings:

Gombrowicz's Diary became an unlimited choice of essays, brief notes, polemics, and confessions on myriad topics starting from political events to literature to the knowledge of loss of life. no longer a standard magazine, Diary is as an alternative the remark of a super and stressed brain. greatly considered as a masterpiece, this fantastic paintings forced Gombrowicz's realization for a decade and a part until eventually he penned his ultimate access in France, presently earlier than his dying in 1969.

Long out of print in English, Diary is now provided in a handy unmarried quantity that includes a brand new preface by way of Rita Gombrowicz, the author's widow and literary executor. This version additionally comprises ten formerly unpublished pages from the 1969 component of the diary.

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Slogans. Philosophies. Morals. Religions. Codes. All of this was once as though it have been in one other key, imagined, acknowledged, written by way of humans already partly eradicated from life, who lacked a destiny . . . the heavy paintings of the stressed, the awkward paintings of the stiff . . . whereas there, in Retiro, all of that tradition dissolved in a few type of younger insuffi1955 177 ciency, younger undevelopment, younger immaturity, it turned ‘‘worse,’’ simply because a person who can nonetheless enhance is often ‘‘worse’’ than his final consciousness. The definitely demonic mystery of the Retiro was once that not anything there may well succeed in complete expression, every little thing needed to be substandard, introductory, undone, drowning in inferiority. . . . but this used to be accurately a full of life existence, invaluable of admiration, the top embodiment of it that's available to us. Nietzscheism and its affirmation of existence? Why Nietzsche didn’t have the least proposal approximately these items, it truly is difficult to visualize whatever extra tawdry, ridiculous, or in worse flavor than his superman and his younger human beast, no, it’s now not precise, no longer completeness yet inadequacy, worseness, inferiority, immaturity are acceptable to that that's nonetheless younger, i. e. , alive. Then i used to be now not but conscious that numerous existentialisms (which didn't develop into popular until eventually after the warfare) have been battering their brains over difficulties a bit of just like mine, tied to the need to appreciate existence within the uncooked, in movement. attempt to comprehend my loneliness and the inner contradiction which turned a crack all through my whole inventive venture: as an artist i used to be referred to as to try for perfection, yet i used to be drawn by way of imperfection; i used to be presupposed to create values, notwithstanding whatever like subvalue or imperfect worth used to be what i actually valued. I exchanged the Venus de Milo, Apollo, the Parthenon, the Sistine Chapel and all of the Bach fugues for one trivial comic story expressed with the lips of these concerning degradation, with lips that have been themselves degraded. . . . it's time now to finish those confidences. not anything of what I write the following has been ‘‘solved’’ in me. every thing has remained in ferment formerly. probably in other places i'll inform how within the following years the incursion of my fatherland, of Poland, into my lifestyles got rid of me from the Retiro and in part lower back me to different concerns. If i've got needed to externalize those Argentine stories, the reason is, it will be important for a guy talking publicly—a guy of letters—to lead his reader past the facade of shape, into the boiling cauldron of his inner most heritage. Is it ridiculous, even humiliating? in basic terms childrens or kindhearted aunts (whose spinsterish innocence is, regrettably, a tremendous consider public opinion) can think author is a frivolously chic being, a lofty spirit educating approximately his ‘‘talent,’’ approximately what's stable and lovely from on excessive. No, a author doesn't take a seat on peaks, yet climbs to them from the ground. Who could dare to call for heavily that we untie all of the Gordian knots of life on paper? guy is vulnerable and constrained. guy can't be superior than he's.

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