Here are two major works by the famed Polish novelist and dramatist Witold Gombrowicz. The first, Cosmos, a metaphysical thriller, revolves around an absurd investigation. It is set in provincial Poland and narrated by a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns, and whose voice is dense with the richly palpable description that characterizes Gombrowicz’s writing. Cosmos won the International Prize for literature in 1967.
Pornografia explores the sinister effect the young can have on the old. Set in the heart of the Polish countryside during the German occupation, it is concerned with the shattering change made in the lives of two aging intellectuals. A boy and a girl, drawn together by a physical attraction they never openly admit, excite the imagination of the two older men. To serve their own secret eroticism, the men encourage the couple to commit murder. Although the adolescents are the weapons used to commit the crime, the four become conspirators before the deed is done.
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