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Constantin « Kot » Jelenski :

“Here, we have—and it is difficult to write a more enthusiastic phrase—the most ‘scandalous’ novel ever written in Polish. Scandalous for the simple reason that it strips naked certain strata of truth and reality that escape even the most objective and deep ‘psychological’ approaches. It is a metaphysical book and not a psychological one. In its best parts, Pornografia is poetry.”
—Letter to Witold Gombrowicz, August 4, 1959 [Trans. Dubowski] 1959
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Drawing by Rafał Olbiński.

René de Ceccatty :

“Novels of manipulation are the perversion of the roman d’éducation. Emilie, Julie, or La Nouvelle Héloïse are perverted in this manner by Sade, and, in a parallel way, by Choderlos de Laclos. All in all, novels in which the protagonists are adults who take children by the hand are not many. And Pornografia belongs to this perverted tradition. Like the Duke of Blangis or Dolmancé, like Valmont and Merteuil, the narrator and Frederyk decide to direct the destiny of young people who, apparently, know nothing of life. It’s about transmitting an experience, but doing so quickly, jumping steps and denouncing the hypocrisy of ordinary trainingd. And overall, to modify the equilibrium of good and evil, of the dominating morality and its transgression. To go all the way to evil, by various paths.”
—René de Ceccatty, “La Manipulation” (“Manipulation”) in Gombrowicz vingt après (Gombrowicz Twenty Years Later), Paris, 1989 [Trans. Dubowski] 1989
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Image of the cartoon “Labyrinth” (1962) by Jan Lenica, a friend of Gombrowicz.

Péter Esterhazy :

“This book does not count on me, does not solicit my aid, my convenience, or my benevolence (like so many Central European novels), it does not solicit my culture or my comprehension. This book only relies on itself. (That’s the final word.)
— Peter Esterhazy, “Un importun” (“An Unwelcome Visitor”) in Gombrowicz vingt après (Gombrowicz Twenty Years Later), Paris, 1989 [Trans. Dubowski] 1989


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