Erotyka i Tatry. Kosmos Gombrowicza wobec pożegnania jesieni Witkacego

The article is an attempt to read Witold Gombrowicz’s Cosmos (1965) through the prism of the Farewell to Autumn (1927) of Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz. In both 20th century novels, the theme of a tour in the Tatras is used for similar purposes. Despite the fact that the Tatras as a specific place are not important, the significance of the mountain space in general cannot be denied. Gombrowicz and Witkacy, both somehow connected with Polish mountains, seem to parody the way of traveling in the interwar period as well as its narratives. These locations are for the characters as much a place to escape (from a dead cat and a revolution) as the background for events which bring important resolutions. The wild nature exacerbates hidden desires of the characters, and the perverse fascinations reach their culmination in the mountains still associated with the 19th century idea of sacrum. Not only Gombrowicz situates a large part of the action of the Cosmos in Witkiewicz’s epoch, he also equips the character of Lena in the erotic attribute of Hela Bertz – the „bare legs” of both tempting and somewhat demonic Helens play an extremely important role in novels’ plots as well as their mouths symbolically associated with erotic domination. This article analyses similarities between the two novels such as resemblance in the construction of certain characters (Atanazy and Witold, Hela and Lena), similar motifs (profane pilgrimage, infidelity, desire) as well as eroticism and its connection to metaphysical search and desire to reach the deepest mystery of existence.
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