Ferdydurke by Gombrowicz

Discussion in 'Humor Books' started by Natalia888, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Natalia888

    Natalia888 Member

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    From Wikipedia:
    "Considered a masterpiece of European modernism, Ferdydurke was published at an inopportune moment. World War II, the Soviet Union's imposition of a communist regime in Poland, and the author's decades of exile in Argentina nearly erased public awareness of a novel that remains a singularly strange exploration of identity and cultural and political mores. In this darkly humorous story, Joey Kowalski describes his transformation from a 30-year-old man into a teenage boy. Kowalski's exploits are comic and fervid -- for this is a modernism closer to Dada and the Marx brothers than to the elevated tones of T. S. Eliot or Ezra Pound -- but also carry a subtle undertone of philosophical seriousness. Gombrowicz is interested in identity and the way time and circumstance, history and place impose form on people's lives. The book itself is a parody of common literary forms in prewar Polish literature - an introspective, almost Proustian monologue transitions into a schoolboy memoir, then abruptly becomes a story of intergenerational struggle before finishing up as a "socially conscious" tale of life in a country manor. At each transition point there is a general brawl, a moment of escape, followed by a descent back into rigid form. Gombrowicz weaves into the book his theme that immaturity is the force behind our creative endeavors, but he's also clear that there's no getting away from this relentless, normalizing force."


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