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Polish Memories
by Witold Gombrowicz
translated by Bill Johnston
Yale University Press, September 2004

Although Witold Gombrowicz wrote a three-volume Diary, it offers few facts about his early life in Poland. Polish Memories - a series of autobiographical sketches Gombrowicz composed for Radio Free Europe during his years in Argentina in the late 1950s, and translated into English for the first time --  fills the gap. Although here Gombrowicz writes in a straightforward way without his famous linguistic inventions, the book presents an engaging account of his childhood, youth, literary beginnings, and fellow writers in interwar Poland, and reveals how these experiences and individuals shaped his seemingly outlandish concepts about the self, culture, art, and society. The book helps readers understand the numerous autobiographical allusions in his fiction and brings a new level of understanding and appreciation to his life and work.