Gombrowicz diary promises to expose Polish literary icon

8th May 2013, Comments 0 comments

Four decades after his death, the diary of Polish author Witold Gombrowicz which finally hits book stores in Poland later this month will offer an intimate glimpse of the literary giant who made no secret of his homosexuality.

"I hesitated to publish this journal for a long time," his widow, Rita Gombrowicz, told reporters in Warsaw Wednesday as she unveiled the tome entitled "Kronos".

"I kept his archives under my bed for 25 years," she added. "But with the end of my life drawing near (...) I felt that his readers were already sufficiently familiar with Gombrowicz to understand him intimately."

Known for his penetrating psychological prose in "Ferdydurke", "Cosmos", and "Pornografia", Gombrowicz began "Kronos", an intimate, unvarnished chronicle of his day-to-day life and musings, in 1953.

Peppered with a steady stream of erotic escapades with both men and women, "Kronos" will appear on bookstore shelves in its original Polish on May 23.

"He didn't want to publish it during his lifetime in order to avoid provoking problems," Rita Gombrowicz added Wednesday.

"I want it to be seen for what it is; a literary text which contributes to our knowledge of the very important author Witold Gombrowicz and not simply something scandalous," added publisher Vera Michalska-Hoffmann, director of the prestigious Warsaw-based Wydawnictwo Literackie publishing house.

Born in 1904 in what is now Poland, Witold Gombrowicz travelled to Argentina in 1939 just before the Nazi Germany attack on his homeland sparking the Second World War.

He stayed in his adopted South American home for the next 23 years before moving to France where he died in Nice in 1969.

© 2013 AFP

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