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Ferdydurke - Gombrowicz, Witold; Gombrowicz, Rita; Borchardt, Danuta - Yale University Press
Literary Studies

Series Information
The Margellos World Republic of Letters

Ferdydurke

  • Witold Gombrowicz; Translated by Danuta Borchardt; Foreword by Susan Sontag
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Winner of the 2001 National Translation Award, given by the American Literary Translators Association

In this bitterly funny novel a writer finds himself tossed into a chaotic world of schoolboys by a diabolical professor who wishes to reduce him to childishness. Originally published in Poland in 1937, Ferdydurke was deemed scandalous and subversive by Nazis, Stalinists, and the Polish Communist regime in turn and was officially banned in Poland for decades. It has nonetheless remained one of the most influential works of twentieth-century European literature.

"Ferdydurke, among its centrifugal charms, includes some of the truest and funniest literary satire in print."—John Updike

"A wonderfully subversive, self-absorbed, hilarious book. Think Kafka translated by Groucho Marx, with commentaries."—Kirkus Reviews

"The author's exuberant humor, suggesting the absurdist drama of Eugéne Ionesco, if not the short fiction of Franz Kafka, is readily apparent in this new translation. . . . Highly recommended."—Richard Koss, Library Journal

Winner of the 2001 National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association

Witold Gombrowicz is the author of A Guide to Philosophy in Six Hours and Fifteen Minutes, Trans-Atlantyk, Cosmos, and Pornografia, the first three available from Yale University Press. These, along with his plays and his Diary, have been translated into more than thirty languages. Danuta Borchardt has translated several works by Witold Gombrowicz. She is also a writer of short stories, which are regularly published on the website Exquisite Corpse.

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