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The crew on a ship try to keep their minds intact when exposed to absolute monotony at sea. The more these characters cling to normalcy, the more insane their actions become. The stories range from darkly humorous to almost brutal. Gombrowicz bitterly writes about our beliefs about how the world should be, versus how it really is.
Her repeatedly smashes our idealised pictures of society to pieces, and I'm happy with that. I've both laughed out loudly and looked at the pages with disgust while reading this, and that's definitely a good thing. Extremely fine collection of short stories. I've read the Swedish translation by David Szybek which seemed very good, and hopefully I'll be able to read it in the original Polish in a few months! View all 3 comments. Hikayeler o kadar garip ki; daha ne olacak diye tedirginlikle okudum hep.
May 14, Justin Evans rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. Solid stuff, though the last two stories weren't quite up to the earlier ones. Everything was memorable, at least, and getting to re-read Philidor's Child Within was a special bonus. There are very few times when you read a short stories book that handle every single one of them of it's tales in a very original and imaginative way, showing a great and coherent voice wishing to scream out his ideas.
That's Bacacay. This is without a doubt, one of the best books I've read in a while. And it took a while because each story needs some time to digest.
Very very satisfying. Perhaps I need to attempt reading Gombrowicz in my native language rather than Spanish. Or maybe I need to read closer and with more observation. As one may notice, I'm finding an abyss between what I have heard and read from other readers and world literature enthusiasts, and my experience and chores of reading the author. There is a chasm between Gombrowicz and I. Funny and bizarre, yes, these short stories are cracks at institutionalized ideas and ways of life, especially the aristocratic nor Perhaps I need to attempt reading Gombrowicz in my native language rather than Spanish.
Funny and bizarre, yes, these short stories are cracks at institutionalized ideas and ways of life, especially the aristocratic norm which anyone not from that walk of life shall enjoy. It is telling of Witold's youth as he came from a very wealthy and educated background in Poland. One reason for my pretension must be chalked up towards the editorial el cuenco de plata that chose to include a quote for Gombrowicz praising his re-read and subsequently published for the first time short stories where the author notes his surprise to discover his own joviality and well narrated humor in such virgin texts.
It confounds me as to why they would include this text as it gives off an air of what the author pokes at with irony, humor, and hyperbole. Anyhow it is there and deterred any chance of the stories to sink in a bit more to jostle my consciousness.
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My heightened interest of the Polish author was seeing his books everywhere in Argentina, discovering that he lived in Buenos Aires before going to France, and so I bought a novel Trans-Atlantyk , short stories, and a published conversation of with French artist Jean Dubuffet. Similarly to the novel, much of my discouragement upon reading Gombrowicz's short stories settles on a foundation of expectation and self-interest not being satisfied.
However, the novel at least generated a dislike and a struggle, which certainly pushed me to reflect and question and saturate myself in a mysteriousness engendered by Gombrowicz style and narration. The short stories simply left me indifferent, with a coolness, and without any emotions similar to joy or anger. My final conclusion is, "I should have abandoned it.
Maybe one day I can return to the stand out short stories from Bacacay which were for me, Aventuras and Crimen premeditado. Those two short stories are shedding, albeit unobtrusive, light into the chasm between Gombrowicz and I. I have rarely been so confused when trying to grade a book.
For some I thought that they were some of the most brilliant stories I have ever read, for others that they are the most bizarre and idiotic ones and that I do not know why people waste their and my time writing such bullshit. For some I thought were exposing complex social flaws, for others that they were just a bunch of chauvinist bullsh I have rarely been so confused when trying to grade a book.
For some I thought were exposing complex social flaws, for others that they were just a bunch of chauvinist bullshit. Not sure that I will give him as an author any more chances either. Oct 12, Baklavahalva rated it liked it. Read it in Bosnian translation. The question is how much of this craziness can one take?
Every character has a mania, some of them more unbearable than others. I could have done without the extensive descriptions of marine and submarine tortures, but I suppose the violence is a part of the point.
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Two stories struck me as especially funny, the one about virginity where the idealized maiden wants to gnaw on bones from the garbage and the one about a respectable upper-class guy who fetishizes rea Read it in Bosnian translation. Two stories struck me as especially funny, the one about virginity where the idealized maiden wants to gnaw on bones from the garbage and the one about a respectable upper-class guy who fetishizes really old, really ugly cleaning ladies.
Jan 31, Mike Polizzi rated it really liked it. Xenophobia, totalitarianism, traveling the ocean in a glass bubble Gombrowicz creates stories that inhabit worlds parallel to our own that manages to shine a lot of light on the strange and arbitrary rules of human existence. Jul 23, Joshua added it. This goes really high up on my list of favorite story collections.
Unique, grotesquely weird at times and very funny.
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One of those works that makes you eager to read everything else available from the author. Dec 12, Leonard Klossner rated it really liked it. I don't often enjoy short stories, but I made an exception for Gombrowicz and I was not disappointed. Both Gombrowicz and Goytisolo are purveyors of the absurd, but Goytisolo's world is one of extraordinary violence - it is a world of unfathomable heaviness - whereas Gombrowicz' is extraordinarily light - all instances of violence, even cannibalism, accomplish an effect of humor, and are often the initiatory steps of a narrative Rube Goldberg machine that sets off a causal chain of circumstance I don't often enjoy short stories, but I made an exception for Gombrowicz and I was not disappointed.
Both Gombrowicz and Goytisolo are purveyors of the absurd, but Goytisolo's world is one of extraordinary violence - it is a world of unfathomable heaviness - whereas Gombrowicz' is extraordinarily light - all instances of violence, even cannibalism, accomplish an effect of humor, and are often the initiatory steps of a narrative Rube Goldberg machine that sets off a causal chain of circumstances which grow increasingly absurd. Gombrowicz' universe is not so fantastical as much as it is situated on a fundament of logic that makes no sense in the world as we know it; it is based on a system of logic endemic to Gombrowicz' strange universe.
In one story, a bored spectator of a tennis match fires a gunshot at the ball in mid-flight, after which the match becomes a mimetic performance - the players mime as though the ball were still in play it just occurred to me that Michaelangelo Antonioni may have found influence from Gombrowicz for the closing scene of Blow Up. Sign in. Don't have an account? Get the best tools to find the best deal on your hotel. Set price alerts for hotels Exclusive member rates Daily hottest deals Share wishlists with friends Access searches across devices Register.
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