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The cosmos


A novel that really is more curious than any other I know. As you can see, the reader is disoriented right from the start. The uneasy fascination brought on by this opening sentence never lets up. It’s akin to music in the chromatic scale—say Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring—discordant, not exactly pleasant, but dynamic and compelling its own way.

Gombrowicz uses the novel to discredit the human construction of meaning. The living moment is incoherent. If it means anything in and of itself, the message does not come through. We are left to our own devices, interpreting perception, picking out patterns, constructing meaning. It’s an ongoing process without beginning or end. That’s why Gombrowicz begins Cosmos as he does, acknowledging that this, or any book is not a closed system, but part of an unceasing flow of mental activity.

(review by rick green)

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Tags: mdash, rsquo, Stravinsky, scale, music, cosmos