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By Witold Gombrowicz

In this bitterly humorous novel a author reveals himself tossed right into a chaotic international of schoolboys by way of a diabolical professor who needs to minimize him to childishness. initially released in Poland in 1937, Ferdydurke was once deemed scandalous and subversive through Nazis, Stalinists, and the Polish Communist regime in flip and was once formally banned in Poland for many years. It has still remained essentially the most influential works of twentieth-century eu literature.

"Ferdydurke, between its centrifugal charms, comprises many of the truest and funniest literary satire in print."—John Updike

"A splendidly subversive, self-absorbed, hilarious booklet. imagine Kafka translated through Groucho Marx, with commentaries."—Kirkus Reviews

"The author's exuberant humor, suggesting the absurdist drama of Eugéne Ionesco, if no longer the quick fiction of Franz Kafka, is quickly obvious during this new translation. . . . hugely recommended."—Richard Koss, Library Journal

Winner of the 2001 nationwide Translation Award given via the yank Literary Translators Association

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Those rules provide the unconventional either weight and wings. Gombrowicz capers and thunders, hectors and mocks, yet he's additionally fullyyt desirous about his venture of transvaluation, his critique of excessive " beliefs. " Ferdydurke is among the few novels i do know that should be known as Nietzschean; definitely it's the in simple terms comedian novel which may be so defined. (The affecting fantasia of Hesse's Steppenwolf turns out, compared, riddled with sentimentality. ) Nietzsche de­ plored the ascendancy of slave values backed through Christianity, and known as for the overthrowing of corrupt beliefs and for brand new sorts of masterfulness. Gombrowicz, putting forward the "human" want for imper­ fection, incompleteness, inferiority . . . early life, publicizes himself a consultant in inferiority. Swinish youth could seem a drastic anti­ dote to conceited adulthood, yet this can be precisely what Gombrowicz has in brain. "Degradation grew to become my excellent perpetually. I worshipped the slave. " it truly is nonetheless a Nietzschean venture of unmasking, of revealing, with a merry satyr-dance of dualisms: mature as opposed to immature, wholes as opposed to elements, clothed as opposed to bare, heterosexuality as opposed to homosex­ uality, whole as opposed to incomplete. Gombrowicz gaily deploys some of the units of excessive literary modernism in recent years re-labeled "post-modern:' which tweak the tradi­ tional decorums of novel writing: significantly, that of a garrulous, intru­ sive narrator awash in his personal contradictory emotional states. Bur- X Foreword lesque slides into pathos. whilst now not preening, he's abject; while no longer clowning, he's susceptible and self-pitying. An immature narrator is a few kind of candid narrator; even person who flaunts what's often hidden. What he isn't is a "sincere" narrator, sincerity being a type of beliefs that make no experience on this planet of candor and provocation. "In literature sincerity leads no­ the place . . . the extra man made we're, the nearer we come to frank­ ness. Artificiality permits the artist to procedure shameful truths. " As for his celebrated Diary, Gombrowicz says: have you learn a "sincere" diary? The "sincere" diary is the main mendacious diary . . . And, in the end, what a bore sincerity is! it's ineffectual. Then what? My diary needed to be honest, however it couldn't be honest. How may I resolve the matter? The notice, the free, spoken notice, has this consoling particularity: it really is on the subject of sincerity, no longer in what it con­ fesses yet in what it claims to be and in what it pursues. So I needed to stay away from turning my diary right into a confession. I needed to express myself "in action," in my purpose of implementing myself at the reader in a definite approach, in my wish to create myself with every body depending on. "This is how i want to be for you," and never "This is howl am. " nonetheless, even though fanciful the plot of Ferdydurke, no reader will regard the protagonist and his longings as something except a transposi­ tion of the author's personal character and pathology. via making Joey Kowalski (as the Polish identify of the protagonist-narrator is the following ren­ dered in English) a writer-and the writer of an unsuccessful, a lot derided ebook of news entitled, convinced, Memoirs of a Time ofImmatur­ ity-Gombrowicz dares the reader to not take into consideration the guy who wrote the radical.

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