Making Sense of Trans-Atlantyk

Knut Andreas Grimstad has contributed to The Routledge World Companion to Polish Literature, with a chapter on Witold Gombrowicz's exile novel in Norway.

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Witold Gombrowicz’s family were well-off members of the gentry. He studied law at the University of Warsaw, but abandoned his legal career to pursue his literary interests. This chapter explores if and how Trans-Atlantyk epitomizes translation as cultural transmission. As cultural transmission is concerned with the author’s relationship to both the subject matter and the reader, translations often strive to reflect these relationships. Like many Eastern European artists and intellectuals, Gombrowicz was forced into exile, first by the Nazis, then by the communist regime. Dialectical dualism involves a dialectic, or tension, of two opposing principles, for instance, in Western culture, idea and matter, the individual and the collective. When Norwegian readers discovered Gombrowicz, in the late 1960s, their response did not differ much from elsewhere in the West. Gombrowicz’s Diary contains both contemporary and retrospective autobiographical passages, but, according to the author, they should not always be taken literally.

Published Oct. 17, 2021 3:24 PM - Last modified Oct. 17, 2021 3:24 PM