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These are weird and wonderful and erudite as anything by Borges and Joyce…It¢s safe to think of Bacacay as Gombrowicz¢s Dubliners: a collection of complex and sophisticated short stories that contain within them all the seeds of the author¢s later artistic blooming. —The Believer
This version of Bacacay raises the bar for all Gombrowicz translations and makes an excellent introduction for readers new to his tragicomic world. —The Nation
As in Gombrowicz¢s airily bizarre novels…lucid, concise narratives are weighted with outrageous premises and absurd developments that recall the work of Kafka, Beckett, Bruno Schulz, and (especially) Ionesco… Johnston¢s brilliant translations vividly convey the radically unconventional content and style of one of the 20th century¢s strangest—and greatest—writers. —Kirkus Reviews
Grotesque, erotic, and often hilarious, the stories immediately established Gombrowicz's extraordinary voice...As creepy as Poe and as absurdist as Kafka.—The New Yorker
Gombrowicz’s extravagant, gleefully anarchic gifts explode on every page of his early collection Bacacay. And the wit and verve Bill Johnston brings to his daunting task produce a translatorly tour de force—the most riotously readable English Gombrowicz yet. —Clare Cavanagh
One of the great novelists of our century. —Milan Kundera
Lawyer Kraykowski’s Dancer
I was on my way to see the operetta "The Gypsy Princess" for the thirty-fourth time —and, since it was late, I bypassed the line and went straight to the lady at the ticket window: "My dear madam, please just quickly give me my usual, in the balcony"—when sud- denly someone took hold of me from behind, and coldly—yes, coldly —dragged me away from the window and pushed me back to my proper place, i.e. the end of the line. My heart began pound- ing, I was short of breath—is it not a murderous thing when a person is suddenly taken by the collar in a public spot?—but I looked around: He was a tall, vigorous, fragrant individual with a short, trimmed mustache. He was conversing with two fashion- ably dressed ladies and one gentleman, and checking the tickets he had just bought.
They all looked at me —and I had to say something.
"Was it you who did me the honor?" I asked in a tone that might have been ironic, perhaps even sinister, but since I suddenly came over weak, I said it too quietly.
|Lawyer Kraykowski's dancer||3|
|The memoirs of Stefan Czarniecki||17|
|A premeditated crime||35|
|Dinner at Countess Pavahoke's||76|
|The events on the Banbury||142|
|Philidor's child within||194|
|Philibert's child within||212|
|On the kitchen steps||216|