Friday, August 5, 2011

Written in 1955

"You write? Everybody is writing nowadays. I myself have written a novel. I: Really? She: Yes, and I even got some pretty good reviews. I: Congratulations! She: Oh, I'm not saying this to fish for compliments, I merely wanted to emphasize that everybody is writing nowadays. It's something that everybody can do." --
Witold Gombrowicz, in his diaries (this entry from 1955 appears in
Diary: Volume 1, translated by Lillian Vallee, published by Northwestern University Press). A most extraordinary work by one of the great Polish writers of the 20th Century, exiled in Argentina, destined never to return to Poland, who also wrote, " much as one is an alien, one is also painfully oneself." It is the word "painfully" that sticks in one's craw.

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