Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802119254, 225pp.
Publication Date: November 3, 2009
List Price: $23.00*
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One of the indisputable totems of twentieth-century world literature, Witold Gombrowicz wrote "Pornografia" after leaving his native Poland for Argentina in 1939 and then watching from afar as the German invasion destroyed his country. Translated for the first time into English from the original Polish by award-winning translator Danuta Borchardt, "Pornografia" is one of Gombrowicz's highest regarded works a richly imagined tale of violence and carnality set in wartime Poland. In the midst of the German occupation, two aging intellectuals travel to a farm in the countryside, looking for a respite from the hellish scene in Warsaw. They quickly grow bored of their bucolic surroundings that is, until they are hypnotized by a pair of country youths who have grown up alongside each other at the farm. The older men are determined to orchestrate a tryst between the two teenagers, but they are soon distracted by a string of violent developments, including an order from the underground movement for the men to assassinate a rogue resistance captain who has sought refuge with them. The erotic games are put on hold until the two dissolute intellectuals find a way to involve their pawns in the murderous plot.