brothercyst: Bacacay

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Here I present two moments from Witold Gombrowicz's awesomely strange collection Bacacay (1933 or 1957 - it's complicated), which I first encountered a little over a year ago, I think, when I was still in school and sort of wandered into some kind of symposium about the author.

Quiet, let Gombrowicz talk.

One day, strolling astern, on the boards of the deck I noticed a human eye. [...] I continued my uninterrupted walk, debating whether to tell the captain and Smith—the latter had appeared on the steps of the forward hatch.

"There's a human eye on the deck over there."

He pricked up his ears. "I'll be f . . . sp . . . Where? Is it one of a pair?"

We heard the captain's voice from the upper gangway:

"Has something happened, Mr. Smith? Why did you curse?"

"Those . . . dr . . . da . . . " Smith replied angrily, "Those . . . ba . . . pr . . . they're starting to play the eye game."

—"The Events on the Banbury"

“But God, God exists!” I finally stammered, with the last of my strength, desperately seeking something to hold onto; “God exists,” I added more quietly, for the Lord’s name had rung out so inappropriately that everyone fell silent, and their faces showed all the ominous signs of a faux pas having been committed—and I merely waited to be shown the door!

“Ah yes,” replied Baron de Apfelbaum after a moment, pulverizing me with his unparalleled tact.—“Cod?—cod exists—it swims in the sea!”

—"Dinner at Countess Pavahoke's"

This is an amazing collection. You should read it.

Go. Do it.


Gene said...

I had a large fine at the library after reading this book.

NickAntosca said...

It is the sort of book worth incurring a large fine for.

Wait, no, one ought just to buy it.