Yale University Press, Paperback, 9780300118063, 783pp.
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Just before the outbreak of World War II, young Witold Gombrowicz left his home in Poland and set sail for South America. In 1953, still living as an expatriate in Argentina, he began his "Diary" with one of literature's most memorable openings:
Gombrowicz's "Diary" grew to become a vast collection of essays, short notes, polemics, and confessions on myriad subjects ranging from political eventsto literature to the certainty of death. Not a traditional journal, "Diary" is instead the commentary of a brilliant and restless mind. Widely regarded as a masterpiece, this brilliant work compelled Gombrowicz's attention for a decade and a half until he penned his final entry in France, shortly before his death in 1969.
Long out of print in English, "Diary" is now presented in a convenient single volume featuring a new preface by Rita Gombrowicz, the author's widow and literary executor. This edition also includes ten previously unpublished pages from the 1969 portion of the diary.
"Ferdydurke is certainly a spontaneous work, but the Diary is even more so, and . . . even more rewarding."—John Bayley, New York Review of Books
“Having this book in my hands, I felt a joy at the thought that strong personalities, like that of Gombrowicz, sooner or later find recognition thanks to the sheer intensity of their existence.”—Czeslaw Milosz, New York Times
“If ever a life demanded a diary, this was one.”—Paul West, Washington Post
"Yale University Press by reprinting in a beautiful fat paperback an up-dated complete edition of the Diaries of Witold Gombrowicz has done a singular important, essential and remarkable job."—Thomas McGonigle, ABC of Reading
“Widely considered the Polish author’s masterpiece . . . the Diary lacks for nothing: history, politics, philosophy, literature, art, music, love, death, humor, communism, Poland, Europe, writing—everything is there.”—Paris Review Daily
“A heroic translation . . . English-speaking readers can finally experience the diary as Gombrowicz intended it—as a single, coherent work . . . his major creative endeavor.”—Ruth Franklin, New Yorker
“The spiky brilliance and episodes of vivid experience that share the pages of the Diary with essay-length reflections give the collection as a whole a restive, fugitive rhythm. . . . A provocative experience.”—Eric Banks, Bookforum