Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969) was born and lived in Poland for the first half of his life but spent twenty-four years as an émigré in Argentina before returning to Europe to live in West Berlin and finally Vence, France. His works have always been of interest to those studying Polish or Argentinean or Latin American literature, but in recent years the trend toward a transnational perspective in scholarship has brought his work to increasing prominence. Indeed, the complicated web of transnational contact zones where Polish, Argentinean, French and German cultures intersect to influence his work is now seen as the appropriate lens through which his creativity ought to be examined.

This volume contributes to the transnational interpretation of Gombrowicz by bringing together a distinguished group of North American, Latin American, and European scholars to offer new analyses in three distinct themes of study that have not as yet been greatly explored — Translation, Affect and Politics. How does one translate not only Gombrowicz’s words into various languages, but the often cultural-laden meaning and the particular style and tone of his writing? What is it that passes between author and reader that causes an affect? How did Gombrowicz’s negotiation of the turbulent political worlds of Poland and Argentina shape his writing? The three divisions of this collection address these questions from multiple perspectives, thereby adding significantly to little known aspects of his work.

chapter |12 pages


part I|82 pages

Lost in Translation

chapter 1|15 pages

The Rex Café, Buenos Aires, 1947

On the Spanish Translation of Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke 1

chapter 2|11 pages

Witold Gombrowicz in Spain 1

chapter 5|15 pages

“Intermolecular Mockery and Derision, an Inbred Superlaugh”

On English Translations of Gombrowicz’s Ferdydurke and Their Plural Original

chapter 6|13 pages

Translating the Secret

part II|90 pages

Cartography of Affect in Gombrowicz’s Works

chapter 7|18 pages

“Indomitable Boredom Above the Entire World”

Gombrowicz (and Other Polish Writers) on Existential Predicament 1

chapter 8|11 pages

Becoming Gombrowicz

On the Way of Trans-Subjectivity and Trans-Modernity

chapter 10|12 pages

Affect and Youth

Reading Gombrowicz with Deleuze

chapter 11|15 pages

“The Quieter the Louder Indeed”

Silence and the Space of Literature in Trans-Atlantyk

part III|75 pages

The Political Gombrowicz

chapter 13|21 pages

Gombrowicz’s Wild Youth

The “Ferdydurkean Individual” Fades Away

chapter 14|17 pages

“Their Astounding Strength in Overcoming Their Past…”

The Memory of Nazism in the Berlin Diary 1

chapter 15|12 pages


From Duel to Double 1