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udc 821.162.1.09:141.

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Michal Oklot (Chicago)

The Image of Pain (“Translucent Matter”) 273


in Gombrowicz

Овај чланак се бави сликама бола у


текстовима Witolda Gombrowicza. Анализа
слике бола, једног од најважнијих појмова
у читавом делу Gombrowicza, помаже нам
да разумемо његову специфичну анти-

 Gombrowich,
метафизику супротстављену дуалистичкој
Ključne reči: мисли Запада. У циљу организовања наше
the imagine of мисли о пољској књижевности, овај чланак
pain, anti-metaphysics, Polish такође у кратким цртама приказује посебну
literature, Polish writers, novel генеалошку грану пољских писаца које ја
Mojra. зовем „материјалисти-мистици“.

И… вы видите его действительно? […] Видите ли вы в самом деле какой-


нибудь образ?1)
—Tikhon

A lthough, images of matter-privation –


sand, twilight, and the subsequent night
– dominate the settings of most of Gombrow-
its most essential ingredients. Once, when
asked by Arlette Sayac about the fear of death,
Gombrowicz shifted his answer precisely to
icz’s works, they are not always final destina- the problem of pain:
tions of his figures. At the center, behind his
detours we can frequently see the problem Nie, śmierć mnie nie trwoży. Życie jest
that seems to be fundamental for Gombro- piękne i radosne w drobnych szcze-
wicz: pain. Or, if we agree that detours are gółach, dramatyczne w głównym
the only reality of his prose, pain is one of wymiarze losu. Istnienie budzi we

1) “And… do you really see him? […] Do you see some image actually?”

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M I C HA L OK L OT

mnie lęk, więc staram się być wesoły, many aspects is very close to Gombrowicz’s
na ile tylko mogę. Strach czuję tylko anti-metaphysics. In his two works Gedan-
przed bólem… Myśl współczesna ken über Tod und Unsterblichkeit and Wider
[…] zbyt mocno wiąże rzeczywistość den Dualismus von Leib und Seel, Fleisch und
ze świadomością, niedostatecznie zaś Geist, Feuerbach introduces pain as the ma-
z cierpieniem fizycznym. A przecież jor category constituting being:
czymś naprawdę niewiarygodnym,
niesłychanym i demonicznym jest Die Freude ist das Gefühl eines Seines,
ból.2) der Schmerz das Gefühl eines Nicht-
seines, einer Schranke, Verneinung;
274 /No, death does not frighten me. Life das Gefühl des Seines ist aber selbst
is beautiful and joyful in small details; Sein, das Gefühl der Verneinung
dramatic – in the major dimension selbst Verneinung. Die Freude und
of fate. Existence rouses my anxiety, der Schmerz sind näher die Prinzi-
so I try to be cheerful, inasmuch as I pen und Grundbestimmungen alles
can. I only feel fear of pain… Modern Daseins, wie się der Empfindung des
thought […] ties reality with con- Subjekts zur Existenz kommen. Die
sciousness too strongly, and not Freude ist das Gefühl des Lebens im
sufficiently with physical suffering. Leben, der Schmerz des Todes im
And after all pain is something unim- Leben, das Gefühl der Beraubung
aginable, inconceivable, and demonic der Empfindung […] der Schmerz
(trans. M.O.)/. ist Bewußtsein des abgetrennten
unterschiedenen Einzelseins, darum
The negligence of contemporary thought Bewußtsein der Endlichkeit, Schran-
in this respect leads Gombrowicz back to ken, hierin Schmerz und selbst
his early masters, Arthur Schopenhauer and Verneinung.3)
Thomas Mann, who, these days, if mentioned
at all are always accompanied by a smile How close we are to the painful voyage of
of embarrassment. Let us invite one more Gordon Pym, during which everything, sink-
philosopher to Gombrowicz’s canon – Lud- ing in dead and dense water, was singular;
wig Feuerbach, another philosopher, next how close we are to the painful adventures of
to Schopenhauer, who fascinated Russians Witold, sinking in loose earth–sand. Pain is a
without intellectual embarrassment. His pe- sensation of non-being, necessary for grasp-
culiar materialism, yet to be rediscovered, in ing being. Going back to the problem of the

2) Witold Gombrowicz, Dzieła, ed. Jan Błoński, Jerzy Jarzębski, vol. 14 (Kraków: Wydawnictwo
Literackie, 1986–1996), 305.
3) Ludwig Feuerbach, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 1, “Frühte Schriften, Kritiken und Reflexionen
(1828–1834)” (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1981), 228–229. “Joy is a feeling of being, pain is a
feeling of non-being, of the limit, of negation; the feeling of being is, nonetheless, being by
itself, the feeling of negation is negation in itself. Joy and pain are, more precisely, the rules
and fundamental notions of any existence, gaining existence in the affects of the subject. Joy
is the feeling of life in life, pain is the feeling of death in life, of the deprivation of the affection
[…] pain is a consciousness of the separated and differentiated singular being, therefore it is a
consciousness of finitude, of the limit, and in that, it is pain and negation” (trans. M.O.).

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present text, the image of pain would show jako ideologia do powieści pt. „Ciało bólu”].5)
what is outside of being. Thus the concept Irzykowski indeed planned such a novel or
of pain also helps us to grasp the essence of a long story. On January 1, 1920, he makes
being. In another place, we read: an entry in his diary: “…beside this, a huge
novella, Body of Pain – for which , however,
Der Schmerz, die ‘Empfindung’ über- I do not have medical studies. Possibly, I
haupt ist nichts anderes als die laute, will make a film based on this novella” […
sehr verständliche Protestation gegen prócz tego wielka nowela „Ciało bólu” – do
die Unterscheidung und Trebbung której jednak brak mi studiów medycznych.
von Leib und Seele, Existenz und Z tej noweli ewentualnie zrobię także film].6)
Wesen, die der abstrakte Gedanke Gombrowicz’s unfinished project, a play or 275
macht. Vox populi vox Deu, aber der maybe some other literary form devoted to
populus im Menschen ist eben die the problem of pain, was in fact a resumption
Empfindung.4) of Irzykowski’s abandoned project.
Making such a connection allows us to
As we can see, metaphysics – separat- use aforementioned Irzykowski’s ideologi-
ing physics from meta – begins to disappear. cal sketch to the problem of pain in reading
Pain is pain. For Gombrowicz, it is a figure Gombrowicz. Let us skip the part devoted to
fulfilling the gap between matter and soul; Schopenhauer and Simmel and move to the
in other words, it is the real [sic!] substance section “What is Pain?,” where Irzykowski
constituting us, since both matter and soul quotes and comments on two passages: one
are impossible to grasp conceptually; they from J. Ochorowicz’s Psychology and Medi-
do not exist. Pain is the very existence of cine and the other from Friedrich Hebbel’s
nonexistence. Diary.
In 1921, Karol Irzykowski writes the
essay, “Alchemy of Body. The Problem of [Ochorowicz] ‘Chciałem myśleć o
Cruelty” [Alchamia Ciała. (Zagadnienie swoim stanie i o sposobach ratunku,
okruciaństwa)]. Seventeen years later, in- ale myśli jakby rozpędzone przez ból,
cluding it in the collection “The Lighter Cal- rozwiewały się bez związku; powta-
iber. Sketches – Essays of the Bottom – Apho- rzałem tylko machinalnie wyrazy
risms” [Lżejszy kaliber. Szkice – Próby dna lub bez woli nuciłem w myśli jakieś
– Aforyzmy], he inserts in brackets, between chaotyczne melodie jakby opętany
the main body of the text and the “Later End- przez obce siły […] poczucie bólu
notes” [Przypisy późniejsze], an explanation jako obcej przemocy objawia się
that this essay was written as “an ideology for szczególnie w sferze myśli. Ból rozpę-
a novel entitled Body of pain” […napisane dza je i przytłumia; wszelkie wysiłki

4) Ludwig Feuerbach, Gesamelte Werke, vol. 10, “Kleinere Schriften I I I (1846–1850)” (Berlin:
Akademie Verlag, 1971), 141”’Pain, the sensation’ in general, is none other than a loud and very
clear protest against differentiation and separation of the soul from the body, of the existence
from the essence, which is done by abstract reasoning. Vox populi vox Dei, ale populus, in the
man, is exactly sensation” (trans. M.O.).
5) Karol Irzykowski, Lżejszy kaliber. Szkice – Próby dna – Aforyzmy (Warszawa: Towarzystwo
Wydawnicze „Rój”, 1938), 188.
6) Karol Irzykowski, Dziennik, tom 2 (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2001), 124.

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woli, ażeby myśleć porządnie, są bez- wystaje, że się tak wyrażę, aż w ciało.
skuteczne, co chwila wątek asocjacji Atoli nie są to dalsze bezpośrednie
przerywa się i znów kojarzy bezład- ciągi lecz echa, wzajemny wpływ obu
nie, nie tak jakbyśmy chcieli.’7) rodzajów bólu na siebie […] Ciało
koncentrując się w sobie; jest niejako
/I wanted to think about my state sługa, który nie chce już więcej dbać
and about methods of rescue, but my o pana, bo troska o własne zagrożone
thoughts, as if accelerated by pain, istnienie daje mu dosyć zajęcia. To
dispersed without any connections; samo czyni wtedy i duch: dlatego w
I was only repeating words mechani- takich wypadkach ustaje myślenie,
276 cally, or against my will humming in które jest zawsze świadomym lub
my head some chaotic melodies, as nieświadomym porównanywaniem,
if possessed by alien forces […] the przystosowywaniem się i analizowa-
feeling of pain as alien force appears niem, a natomiast występuje przypa-
particularly in a sphere of thoughts. trywanie się, bezpośrednie chwytanie.
Pain disperses and muffles them; all Ponieważ jednak rozdział pomiędzy
efforts of will to put things in order duchem a ciałem jest zawsze poło-
are futile, at every moment a thread wiczny a czyste prawo ducha może
of associations breaks, and then again działać tylko swobodniej, ale nigdy
forms something chaotic, but not swobodnie, więc obrazy, czy jak
what we expected (trans. M.O.)/. inaczej nazwie się rezultaty wręcz
odmiennej od myślenia, wyższej i
[Hebbel] ‘K. utrzymywał wczoraj, że niezależnej czynności duchowej,
także ból cielesny odczuwa się tylko zamieniają się w fantazmaty. Zresztą
w duszy. Muszę temu zaprzeczyć, należałoby jeszcze dać filozofię bólu
bo w takim razie znikłaby differen- z tego stanowiska.’8)
tia specifica między ciałem i duszą i
doszliśmy do materializmu (Raczej /Yesterday, K. argued that one also
spirytualizmu lub idealizmu. Uwaga feels a physical pain in the soul. I have
K.J.) Myślę, że rzecz ma się tak: ból to disagree with this, for in such a
fizyczny rzeczywiście dostaje się aż case differencio specifica between
do duszy, podobnie jak ból duchowy body and soul would disappear, and

7) Karol Irzykowski, Lżejszy kaliber, 182.


8) Ibid., 183–184. The translation of the quote from Hebbel’s diary is based on Irzykowski’s text
in which he simplified it and replaced the name of Hebbel’s friend Rendtdorf with “K.” Here
is the text of the original: “Rendtdorff behaupte gestern abend, auch der leibliche Schmerz
werde nur im Geist, in der Seele empfunden. Ich muß dies bestreiten, denn damit fiele die
differentia specifica zwischen Leib und Seele weg, der Materialismus ware also da. Ich denke
mir die Sache so. Der leibliche Schmertz wird allerdings bis in die Seele hinein empfunden,
wie der geistige, um mich so auszudrücken, bis den Körper hinaus. Aber dies ist nicht die
Unmittelbarkeit, sondern die Reziprozität des besiderseitigen Schmerzes. Der leibliche
Schmerz hemmut den geistigen Werkmeister im freien Gebrauch des Werkzeugs and diese
Hemmung, die seine Wirksamkeit beschränkt und aufhebt, empfindet er und sie wird ihm
zum Schmerz. Wenn die leiblichen Schmerzens- und Krankheits-Zustände steigen, so wird

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we would reach materialism (rather [Irzykowski’s commentary] Możnaby


spiritualism or idealism – K.I.). I przeciw temu poglądowi oponować
think that it goes that way: physi- za to, że posługuje się dualizmem.
cal pain indeed gets as far as to the Ale, jak sądzę, monistyczne zarzuty
soul, analogically to the spiritual pain przeciw próbom wniknięcia w
sticks out, so to speak, as far as reach- istotę bólu powinny umilknąć, gdyż
ing the body. However, these are not przeciwstawianie ducha ciału jest
any immediate continuums, but w takich analizach nieraz ze wzglę-
echoes, a mutual influence on each dów metodycznych niezbędne jako
other of two kinds of pain […] The środek opisu. Zresztą gdy w powyż-
body gets concentrated in itself; it is szym wywodzie odrzucimy różnicę 277
as a servant who does not care about między bólem fizycznym a ducho-
his master anymore, for worries about wym, pozostanie duch jako świado-
its own threatened existence give it mość, a ‘ciałem’ będzie w ogóle owa
enough work… The spirit does the tajemnicza rzeczywistość bólu, która
same: therefore in such moments the jak coś obcego wystaje aż w ‘ducha’.
process of thinking – which is always Daleką perspektywę otwiera zwłasz-
conscious or unconscious comparing, cza uwaga, że w bólu ustaje myślenie,
adjusting, analyzing – stops, and is a natomiast występuje ‘przypatrywa-
replaced by watching and immedi- nie się, bezpośrednie chwytanie’. To
ate grasping. For the discrepancy jest zapewne istotą bólu, że narzuca
between the spirit and the body is nieodparcie, że gwałci niejako
always only partial, and the pure świadomość i wypełnia ją sobą jak
law of spirit can act more freely, but ogromnym niewidzialnym cielskiem,
not completely freely, so images, or każąc się sobie bezustannie przypa-
if one wishes to call them differently trywać. Przypatrywać – i nic więcej!
the results of spiritual activity which Napróżno stara się duch tego intruza
is higher and more independent than zrozumieć, przezwyciężyć, ogarnąć
thinking, turn into phantasms. In any doznane wrażenia, – one mu urągają.
case, it would be desirable to develop Duch znajduje się w stanie ciągłej, na
philosophy of pain from this perspec- nowo odświeżanej klęski, jest obec-
tive” [trans. and italic – M.O.]/. nym tylko po to, aby być świadkiem

auch die Hemmung, also auch die Empfindung derselben und die reziproke Schmerz um so
größer. Der Leib zentraliziert sich in sich selbst; er ist gewissermaßen ein Diener, der auf den
Herrn nicht länger achten kann, wiel die Sorge für seine gefährdete eigene Existenz seine
ganze Tätigkeit in Anspruch nimmt. Dasselbe tut nun auch der Geist; daher hört das Denken,
welches ein immerwährendes bewußtes oder unbewußtes Vergleichen, Anpassen und
Analogisieren ist, auf und das Anschauen, das unvermittelte Ergreifen, tritt ein. Da jedoch die
Trennung zwischen Leib und Geist immer nur noch eine halbe ist und das reine Geistergesetz
nur freier, aber keineswegs frei wirkt, so schlagen die Bilder, oder wie man die Resultate
der dem Denken entgegengesetzten höheren und unabhängigeren Geistes-Tägtigkeit sonst
nennen will, in Phantastereien um. Übrigens ist die Philosophie des Schmerzes aus diesem
Gesichtspunkt noch zu liefern” (Friedrich Hebbel, Werke, vol. 4 (München: Carl Hanser
Verlag, 1966), 510–511.

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własnego znikczemnienia, któremu Pain then is “a crisis of body;” it leads to


się jednak musi z potępieńczą cieka- the edges of being. And this is the reason
wością przyglądać, bo nie ma nigdzie behind torture, according to Irzykowski. A
ucieczki [bold – K.I.].9) torturer, by inflicting pain and arranging
the human body in equilibristic geometrical
/One could argue against such a point figures, wants to see man as a thing and to
of view because it uses a dualist per- see something in him that is not from this
spective. But, I think that monistic world. He calls the torturers of the inquisi-
arguments against efforts of infiltrat- tion “horrifying alchemists who leaned over
ing the essence of pain should stay a trembling body as if over a retorta in which
278 silent. For juxtaposing spirit versus they hoped to find deposited gold of some
body in such analyses is often neces- truth.”10) The concept of pain was attractive
sary for methodological reasons as a for them as a figure of Satan, for it is an un-
means of description. In any case, if imaginable (urepresentable phenomenon);
in the above argument we reject the it is “neither spirit, nor body, but some third
difference between physical and spirit- category that sticks in this world and con-
ual pain, the spirit will remain as con- stantly floods it through breaches of human
sciousness, and that mysterious real- souls” (…z drugiej strony sam ból był niby
ity pain, which as something strange inwazją szatana na ziemię, buchnięciem ogni
‘sticks out’ into the spirit, will be the piekielnych otaczających cały świat, albow-
‘body.’ The remark telling that in pain iem ból nie jest ani duchem ani ciałem, tylko
thinking stops, yielding to ‘observing czymś trzecim, co wystercza w ten świat i
and immediate grasping,’ opens a wide wciąż go zalewa przez szczeliny dusz ludz-
perspective. It is certainly the essence kich [bold – K.I.]).11)
of pain that imposes itself irresistibly, What is especially important for our in-
and, in a way, rapes consciousness and vestigation of Gombrowicz’s images in these
fills it with itself as if with an invis- reflections by Irzykowski is the rather con-
ible, huge bulk, ordering to watch tradictory remark that pain slipping away
itself uninterruptingly. Watching from dualistic thinking could be reflected
– and nothing more! In vain, the spirit upon only through a dualistic juxtaposi-
tries to understand this intruder, to tion of body and spirit, or matter and form.
overcome it, to comprehend affected This epistemological impossibility leads
sensations – they revile it. The spirit Irzykowski to a conclusion that pain, the
is in a state of constantly refreshed ungraspable concept, can be portrayed only
failure; it is present just to witness its through illegitimate images – phantasms.
own degradation, at what, however, it Pain is a paradigmatic phantasm of an un-
has to watch constantly with hellish graspable! This philosophy of pain could be
curiosity, for there is no way to escape realized only in the realm of art.
[bold – K.I.]/ (trans. M.O.). As early as in Ferdydurke, Gombrowicz
created his own paradigmatic phantasm of

9) Ibid., 184.
10) Ibid., 187.
11) Ibid.

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pain, which would later come back in his w ten sposób. Dziś zabiłem około 40.
Diary, his other novels, and his plays. Naturalnie nie wszystkie uśmiercam
od razu – niektóre, silnie pokiereszo-
Złapałem muchę, oberwałem jej nogi wane, upadają na podłogę i co pewien
i skrzydełka, uczyniłem z niej cier- czas odkrywam taką muchę, pozo-
piącą, bolesną, przerażającą i metafi- stawiam sam na sam z konaniem.
zyczną kulkę, nie całkiem okrągłą, ale Natychmiast ją dobijam. Ale zdarza
w każdym razie przepaścistą i dołży- się, że ucieknie w szparę podłogi,
łem ją do kwiatu, wsadziłem cicho do wtedy staję się mi ze swoim bólem
pantofla […] Mucha tępą i głuchą niedostępna.
męczarnią dyskwalifikowała pantofel, W młodości dręczyłem zwierzęta. 279
kwiat, jabłko, papierosy, całe gospo- Przypominam sobie jak w Małoszy-
darstwo pensjonarki12) (F, 147). cach zabawiałem się z chłopakami
wiejskimi. Siekliśmy batami żaby.
I caught [the fly], tore off its legs and Dziś boję się – oto właściwe słowo
wings, I turned it into a suffering, – cierpienia muchy.
dolorous, frightful, and metaphysical […]
little ball, not quite round, but most 2. Intronizacja bólu. – Ból staje się
definitely abysmal, [I added it to the dla mnie punktem wyjścia egzysten-
flower, put it quietly into the shoe] cji, doznaniem zasadniczym od któ-
[…] The fly, through its numb and rego wszystko się zaczyna, do którego
dumb suffering, vitiated the shoe, the wszystko się sprowadza. Egzystancja-
flower, the cigarettes, the schoolgirl’s liści ze swoim ‘życiem dla śmierci’ nie
entire households.13) zadawalają mnie, ja życie ustawiłbym
tylko wobec bólu.
Not accidentally twenty four years later, 3. Ból jako ból, ból sam w sobie.
the theme of pain and its phantasm returns. – To jest najważniejsze. To jest dopiero
In the Diary of 1958, there is an entry which zmiana odczuwania naprawdę groźna
can be read as an extensive commentary i okropna i olbrzymia. Polega na tym,
on the quoted passage from Ferdydurke. At iż coraz mniej obchodzi kto cierpi…
the same time, it is the most exhaustive and Myślę, że współcześnie istnieją w
systematic exposition of the theme of pain tym względzie dwie szkoły. Dla
in his works. ludzi dawniejszej szkoły ból kogoś
z rodziny jest najokropniejszy po
Dziś ‘byłem zabijającym muchy’ to własnym: ból dygnitarza ważniejszy
znaczy po prostu zabijałem muchy od bólu chłopca; ból chłopca waż-
drucianą packą. niejszy od bólu psa. Przebywają w
W moim pokoju, ni wiadomo ograniczonym kręgu bólu. Ale dla
skąd (bo okna mają siatki) biorą się ludzi nowszej szkoły ból jest bólem,
muchy. Co dzień prawie likwiduję je gdziekolwiek by się pojawił, równie

12) Witold Gombrowicz, Dzieła, vol. 2, 147.


13) Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke, trans. Danuta Borchardt (New Haven: Yale University Press
2000), 157.

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straszliwy w człowieku, jak w musze, niepewni wobec natury niż ludzie


wykształciło się u nas doznanie czy- dawniejsi, którzy, trzeba przyznać,
stego cierpienia, piekło nasze stało mieli w tym więcej od na stylu.14)
się uniwersalne. Mnie, na przykład,
niektórzy uważają za nieczułego, /Today, I [was “a killing flies person”],
ponieważ trudno mi ukryć, że ból which simply means that I killed flies
najbliższych nie jest bynajmniej with my wire swatter.
najbliższym mi bólem. I cała moja Who knows where the flies come
natura jest nastawiona na odkrywa- from (the windows in my room have
nie cierpienia tamtego – niższego. screens). I liquidate them this way
280 Te bogobojne rodziny – przypo- almost every day. Today I killed about
minam sobie z dawnych czasów – we [40]. Of course, I don’t kill all of them
dworze wiejskim przy podwieczorku, right away – some of them, seriously
gwarzące poczciwie, niewinnie…a na mangled, fall to the floor, and every
stole był lep, na lepie muchy w sytu- so often I find such a fly, [left alone
acjach okropniejszych niż potępieńcy with its dying]. I immediately finish
na obrazach średniowiecznych. To it off. But it does occasionally happen
nikomu nie przeszkadzało ponieważ that one escapes into a crack in the
w zdaniu ‘ból muchy’ akcent podał na floor, and becomes inaccessible to
‘mucha’ nie na ‘ból.’ A dzisiaj – wystar- me with its pain.
czy naftalinować pokój żeby chmary In my youth I tortured animals.
drobnych istnień zaczęły się wić – i I remember how in Małoszyce I
nikt się nie przejmuje. amused myself with the country boys.
Tak. Ale jak pogodzić to moje We chopped up frogs with whips.
odkrywanie powszechnego cierpie- Today I am afraid – this is the
nia z tym, co zanotowałem wczoraj right word – of the suffering of a fly.
– z niechęcią ową do uznania świata And this fear, in turn, terrifies me,
pozaludzkiego, niższego? To jedno as if some awful weakness toward
z najdziwniejszych rozdarć we mnie. life were contained in it. I am in fact
Przeraża mnie niższa męczarnia i afraid of this, that I cannot bear the
całe moje jestestwo jest nastawione pain of a fly. With age, I underwent a
na odkrywanie jej. A jednak lodo- general evolution, whose tragic and
wata nuda, senność nieomal mnie malignant character I do not want to
zdejmuje, gdy chcę zrównać się z hide; on the contrary, I would like to
tymi stworzeniami w egzystencji i emphasize it as strongly as I can. And
próbuję przyznać im pełne prawo ist- I claim that it is characteristic not just
nienia. To myśl nużąca i ospała – czy of me, but of my entire generation.
dlatego że przekracza moje siły? Do I will note its silent points:
czegóż więc doprowadziła mnie ewo- […]
lucja, którą zawarłem w powyższych 2. The enthronement of pain. – Pain
trzech punktach – mnie i wielu jak ja? becomes the starting point of exist-
Jesteśmy bardziej mętni – i bardziej ence, the basic experience from

14) Witold Gombrowicz, Dzieła Zebrane, vol. 7 (Paris: Instytut Literacki, 1971), 35–37.

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which everything begins, to which anyone because in the sentence “the


everything is reduced. Existential- pain of a fly” the accent fell on “fly”
ists with their “fear for death” do not “pain.” Today it is enough to spray
not satisfy me, I would pit life only a room with insecticide for clouds of
against pain. tiny beings to begin to writhe – and
3. Pain as pain, pain in itself. – This no one pays any attention.
is the most important of all. Only this Yes. But how am I to reconcile
shift in feeling is really horrifying my discovery of universal suffering
and awful and enormous. It relies with what I jotted down yesterday
on my caring less and less about – with my reluctance to recognize
who suffers…I think that currently the ahuman, inferior, world? This is 281
two schools of thought exist on this one of the strangest rifts within me.
point. For people of the old school, I am overcome by inferior suffering
the pain of someone in the family is, and my entire being is attuned to
aside from their own, the worst: the uncovering it. Yet an icy boredom,
pain of a dignitary is more important almost drowsiness, overtakes me
than the pain of a peasant; the pain when I want to equate myself with
of a peasant is more important than these creatures in existence and try to
the pain of a boy; the pain of a boy acknowledge their full right to exist.
is more important than the pain of This is a tedious and sluggish desire
a dog. They exist in a limited circle – is it tedious and sluggish because
of pain. But for people of a more it exceeds my strength? To what,
recent school, pain is pain wherever therefore, has evolution, contained
it appears, equally horrifying in man in the three points above, led me,
as in a fly; in us the experience of me and many more like me? We are
pure suffering has become informed, even more muddled – and even more
our hell has become universal. Some uncertain in relation to nature than
consider me insensitive because it is people of bygone times, who, one
difficult for me to hide that the pain has to admit, exhibited more style
of those nearest to me is not the pain in these matters than we do” (D-E,
nearest to me. And my whole nature I I , 27–29)/.15)
is attuned to discovering that – lower
– suffering. What is this “tiresome and dreamy
God-fearing families – as from thought” about “the metaphysical little ball
bygone days – sat in their country “not exactly round,” and which coordinates
manors at supper, speaking decently, our entire existence? It is perhaps an image
innocently…while flypaper dangled of pain in itself.
right over the table, and on the fly- Most likely, a purely humanistic dimen-
paper flies in predicaments worse sion of pain as suffering is important for Go-
than those of the damned in medi- mbrowicz, as it was for one of the inhabitants
eval paintings. This did not disturb of Der Zauberberg [The Magic Mountain],

15) Witold Gombrowicz, Diary, ed. Jan Kott, trans. Lillian Valee, vol. 2 (Evanston: Northwestern
University Press, 1988), 27–29.

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Herr Settembrini, a contributor to the ency- tigation of Gombrowicz’s own images. What
clopedia bearing the title “Sociology of Suf- is interesting, and what seems to confirm the
fering,” and commissioned by the League for proposed intuition about the inadequacy of
the Organization of Progress. Let us, how- discursive language in coping with matter, is
ever, focus on pain as a figure of one of the that the passages from Being and Nothing-
key categories of Gombrowicz’s ontology. ness devoted to pain (often called matter, as
This substance, filling the breach of dualism, we will see) are even more evanescent and
is for Gombrowicz a certain kind of matter. overloaded with metaphors than the rest of
Gombrowicz’s characteristic motif of slack- this rather garrulous book.
ening of forms of a given status quo, which In what we call “physical” pain, Sartre,
282 brings back the unwanted crude nature, is like Feuerbach, sees pure affective qualities
nothing other than the image of reemerg- which could be apprehended in their purity;
ing matter, the only reality. And matter for that is, the manner in which consciousness
Gombrowicz, that most originary and terri- exists in its purity. Sense data for Sartre and
fying substance, would be precisely pain. In Gombrowicz would be the very texture of
the quoted passage from the interview given consciousness “in so far as it surpasses this
to Arlette Sayac, I omitted one phrase and texture toward its own possibilities.” When
replaced it with ellipses and brackets for the we direct ourselves towards pain, conscious-
sake of clarity. Let us bring back the content ness transcends itself – but emptily. Speak-
of these brackets. The omitted phrase says: ing about pain, we use intermediaries – pure
“especially Sartre’s existentialism.” Sartre’s ex- knowledge and true affection; we use “emo-
istentialism, according to Gombrowicz, does tional abstracts.”
not sufficiently associate reality with physical
suffering. Yet it is possible to integrate even Grief is there, objective and transcend-
that thought of Sartre with Gombrowicz’s ent, but it lacks concrete existence.
artistic system. It would be better to give for these
To understand better the rules of con- insubstantial significances the name
struction of Gombrowicz’s image of pain, of affective images. Their importance
we need to refer to Being and Nothingness of artistic creation and psychologi-
again. The concept of pain developed there cal understanding is undeniable. But
helped Gombrowicz to conceptualize his the important thing here is the fact
own founding image of pain from Ferdy- that what separates them from real
durke. (which, as Gombrowicz has always shame, for example, is the absence of
underlined, preceded the works of Sartre). the quality of being lived.16)
There is no need to establish a precise rela-
tionship between the philosophical thought And this quote could be one of the for-
behind Gombrowicz’s prose and its affinity mulations of Gombrowicz’s artistic program
to Sartre’s system. There is no philosophy in (supplementing the pole defined with the
Gombrowicz’s prose, there are images. Isolat- help of Feuerbach): creation of images that
ed images from Sartre’s book then, can serve stress this gap – “the absence of the quality
as auxiliary figures for a more detailed inves- of being lived.” In other words, we can re-

16) Sartre, Jean-Paul, Being and Nothingness. An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, trans. with
an introd. Hazel E. Barnes (New York Philosophical Library, 1956), 436.

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lease Sartre from Gombrowicz’s accusation but at the same time it exists its pain
of forgetting the “life that is there,” to use – i.e., itself – as a wrenching away from
George Herbert Mead’s term. He tried rather self. Pure pain as the simple ‘lived’
to show, like Gombrowicz, the breach be- can not be reached; it belongs to the
tween bare life and pure consciousness. Even category of indefinables and inde-
if had he wanted to negate his ties with the scribables which are what they are.
third part of Being and Nothingness, which But pain-consciousness is a project
he never did (let us not forget that Gom- toward a further consciousness
browicz called Ferdydurke the precursor of which would be empty of all pain;
Being and Nothingness), he would probably that is, to a consciousness whose con-
have excepted one peculiar passage devoted texture, whose being-there would not 283
to pain as a way of grasping pure affect, the be painful. This lateral escape, this
affect of an affect, whose image is the only wrenching away from self which
way of turning the attention of literature to characterizes pain-consciousness
this fundamental aspect of life, also, or first does not for all that constitute pain
of all, of that life which is lived beyond any as a psychic object. It is a non-thetic
theoretical reflection. project of the For-itself; we appre-
hended it only through the world […]
This pain however does not exist In addition – and this is the unique
anywhere among the actual objects character of corporal existence – the
of the universe […] Pain then is not inexpressible which one wishes to
in space. But neither does it belong flee is rediscovered at the heart of
to objective time; it temporalizes this very wrenching away; it is this
itself, and it is in and through this which is going to constitute the con-
temporalization that the time of the sciousness which surpass it; it is the
world can appear. What then is pain? very contingency and the being of the
Simply the translucent matter [italic flight which wishes to flee it. Nowhere
– M.O.] of consciousness, its being else shall we come closer to touching
there, its attachment to the world, in that nihilation of the In-itself by the
short the peculiar contingency of the For-itself and that apprehension of
act […]. The pain exists beyond all the For-itself by the In-itself which
attention and all knowledge since it nourishes the very nihilation.17)
slips into each act of attention and of
knowledge, since it is this very act in Thus the for-itself is nihilated by the in-it-
so far as the act is without being the self and vice versa. The concept of pain grasps
foundation of being. the main subject of academic existentialism,
Yet even on this plane of pure which was already expressed in Ferdydurke
being, pain as a contingent attach- according to Gombrowicz: “Ferdydurke is
ment to the world can be existed non- existence in a vacuum, that is, nothing ex-
thetically by consciousness only if cept existence” (D-E, I , 181) [Ferdydurke to
it is surpassed. Pain-consciousness egzysentcja w próżni, czyli nic prócz egzys-
is an internal negation of the world; tencji (DZ, VI , 236)]. Pain is the original un-

17) Ibid., 438–439.

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reflective awareness of our body, in opposi- tween pure affectivity (absence) and “pulsat-
tion to illness which is reflective; pain is an ing” series of structured pain as illness. It is
immediate awareness of our body before it a vision of fluctuation between translucent
is surpassed and engulfed in a project. Pure matter, to use Sartre’s synonym for pain, and
pain becomes united in the non-thetic total- prime matter (which could be an excess of
ity, just as our immediate past, by its internal forms, i.e., degraded structure).
relation to the present and the future, forms This fluctuation between these two im-
a totality of the temporal ekstasis. Whenever ages of matter, between two levels of dis-
I become aware of pain, it immediately takes semblance, can be seen in all Gombrow-
some structure, e.g., as “pulsating,” or “pen- icz’s works. Even in the most innocent travel
284 etrating,” as being on a surface or somewhere guide-type reflections on Argentina, Gom-
deep. It is projected on the body as the in- browicz uses the metaphor of prima mate-
itself. The pain forms a part of distanceless ria: “Here we possess decent enough prime
existence of the positional consciousness material (raw material) even though we
of the for-itself. When I am absorbed in ap- cannot yet afford manufactured products
prehending my pain, it means that I direct a […] What is Argentina? Batter that has not
reflexive consciousness on my present “con- yet become cake, or something that [has no
sciousness-as-vision.” Thus the actual texture definite shape]…”18) [Posiadamy tu [w Ar-
of my consciousness reflected on (my pain) gentynie] niezłą „materia prima” (surowiec)
is apprehended and posited by my reflective choć nie stać nas na jeszcze na fabrykaty […]
consciousness. Czym jest Argentyna? Ciastem, które jesz-
What is at the center of Gombrowicz’s cze nie stało się plackiem, czymś po prostu
prose is the product of an act of reflection: niedokształtowanym…].19)
pain as object, pain as something given Prima materia has a trace of form. And,
through transcending the pure quality of for example, Ferdydurke could be scrutinized
consciousness in pain. But, as we will see as its complex images; somewhere in the
in a moment, the unreflective “perspective” deep darkness of Kosmos, there is matter
(non-perspective) of the in-itself constantly with no trace of form – pain.20)
comes back, and its image always stays be-

18) Gombrowicz, Diary, vol. 1, 71, 72 [trans. modified by M.O.]


19) Gombrowicz, Dzieła Zebrane, vol. 6, 94, 96.
20) To use Sartre’s idiom, illness – pain as a psychic object apprehended through pain – the
image of prime matter. Illness as graspable matter: “This object has all the characteristics
of pain, but it is transcendent and passive. It is reality which has its own time, not the time
of the external universe nor that of consciousness, but psychic time […] illness in so far as
it is apprehended through consciousness has all the characteristics of unity, interiority, and
spontaneity which consciousness possesses – but in degraded form. This degradation confers
psychic individuality upon it. That is, first of all, the illness has an absolute cohesion without
parts. In addition it has its own duration since it is outside consciousness and possesses a past
and a future. But this duration, which is only the projection of the original temporalization,
is a multiplicity of imagination [italic – M.O.]. Illness is ‘penetrating,’ ‘caressing’ etc. And these
characteristics aim only at rendering the way in which this illness is outlined in duration; they
are melodic qualities. A pain which is given in twinges followed by lulls is not apprehended
by reflection the brief respites are a part of the illness just as silences are part of a melody. The
ensemble constitutes the rhythm and the behavior of the illness. But at the same time that it

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The discussed problem of pain and its is substantially different from matter. In Go-
image in Gombrowicz, as in Sartre, breaks mbrowicz and in Sartre, to use Catalano’s
Cartesian dualism in any form; the distinc- words, “[t]here is only matter, although, be-
tion between consciousness and material cause of consciousness, there are various
activity does not imply that consciousness states of matter, including consciousness

is passive object [italic – M.O.], illness as it is seen through an absolute spontaneity which is
consciousness, is a projection of this spontaneity into the in-itself. As a passive spontaneity
it is magical; it is given as extending itself, as entirely the master of its temporal form. It
appears and disappears differently than spatial-temporal objects […] There is produced here a
phenomenon analogous to that what psychologists of form call the stroboscopic illusion [italic
– M.O.]. […] There is an animism of illness; it given as a living thing which has its form,
285
its own duration, its habits […] In fact when the illness goes away it disappears for good.
“Nothing is left of it.” But the curious consequence follows that when the illness reappears, it
rises up in its very passivity by a sort of spontaneous generation. For example, one can feel its
“gentle overtures.” It is “coming back again.” “This is it.” Thus the first pains just like the rest
are not apprehended for themselves as a simple, bare texture of the consciousness reflected-
on; the are the “announcements” of the illness or rather the illness itself which is born slowly
– like a locomotive which gradually gets underway. On the other hand it is very necessary to
understand that I constitute the illness with pain […] each concrete pain is like a note in a
melody: it is at once the whole melody and a moment in the melody […] But the matter of the
illness does not resemble that of melody. In the first place it is something purely lived; there
is no distance between the consciousness reflected-on and the pain nor between the reflective
consciousness and the consciousness reflected-on (BN, 443–442).”
Later Sartre asks about the body in relation to pain and the illness. “For the unreflective
consciousness pain was a body; for the reflective consciousness the illness is distinct from the
body, it has its own form, it comes and goes […] The reflective consciousness is consciousness
of the illness” (BN, 442–443). Illness, however, with its peculiar form, and a melodic rhythm,
“adheres to the for-itself by means of its matter since it is revealed through the pain and
as o unity of all pains” (BN, 443). As we remember, pain is a “translucent matter.” Illness is
“apprehended as sustained and nourished by a certain passive environment in which the
passivity is precisely the projection into the in-itself of the contingent facticity of the pains.
It is my passivity. This passive environment is not apprehended for itself except as the matter
of the statue is apprehended when I perceive its form, and yet it is there. The illness feeds
on this passivity and magically derives new strength from it just as Antaeus was nourished
by the earth. It is my body on a new plane of existence; that is pure correlate of a reflective
consciousness. I shall call it a psychic body” (BN, 443). Thus a psychic body provides “the
implicit matter [italics – M.O.] of all phenomena of the psyche” (BN, 443). It is a body
recaptured by the in-itself: “It represents the tendency of each psychic object beyond its
magical cohesion to be parceled out in exteriority; it represents beyond the magical relations
which unite psychic objects to each other, the tendency of each one of them to be isolated
in an insularity of indifference. It is therefore a sort of implicit space supporting the melodic
duration of the psychic. In so far as the body is the contingent and indifferent matter of all
psychic events, the body determines the psychic space. This space has neither high nor low,
neither left nor right; it is without parts inasmuch as the magical cohesion of the psychic
comes to combat its tendency toward a division in indifference. This is nonetheless a real
characteristic of the psyche – not that the psyche is united to a body but under its melodic
organization the body is its substance and perpetual condition of possibility. […] It is this

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itself.”21) There is “inert matter” or “translu- the protagonist, a writer and the author of
cent matter” – the in-itself, and its negation the book Memoirs from the Time of Imma-
and transcendence – the for-itself (“implicit turity [Pamiętnik z okresu dojrzewania].23)
matter”). The for-itself, a consciousness is The sentence opening Ferdydurke (1937) is:
then a “continual degradation of inert mat- “Tuesday morning I awoke at the pale and
ter and the coming-to-be of the world”22) We lifeless hour when night is almost gone but
never encounter inert matter; it is always in dawn has not yet come into its own” [We
the process of nihilation by the for-itself. We wtorek rano zbudziłem się o tej porze bez-
cannot grasp pain, just illness. dusznej i nikłej kiedy właściwie noc się już
Consequently, Kosmos can be read as the skończyła, a świt nie zdążył jeszcze zacząć
286 impossible task of presenting the pure image się na dobre];24) and the sentence closing
of pain (inert matter). Such an interpretation Kosmos (1965) is: “Today there was a fricas-
would classify Pornografia as an image of ill- see of chicken for dinner” [Dziś na obiad
ness (implicit matter); in Ferdydurke – which, była potrawka z kury].25) Following such a
according to Gombrowicz, resembles Being trajectory (starting from the last novel), on
and Nothingness following it (unconsciously) the way to the beginning of Ferdydurke (the
– we find more balanced images with two first novel of the cycle), where we meet Wi-
dialectically united abstractions: the for-it- told alias Józio, a writer, i.e., a creator (yet
self and the in-itself – inert matter, or dead immature), we go through combinations of
matter to use Neoplatonic language, and various objects – e.g. a stick, a wire, a leather
matter pregnant with possibilities. In Fer- sole, or four rabbit skins, stones, a teapot
dydurke, we do not find a dominant figure – with people and animals. The movement
fixing the relationship between light and leads from disorder to emerging immature
darkness, like in the other two novels. In a form that also appears to be an illusion. Let
way then, Ferdydurke could be read as his us not forget that the logic of the dream with
last novel, as an image of the dialectics of which Ferdydurke begins is governed by sus-
matter. A reverse reading of the trilogy un- picio, bastard reasoning – the only possible
folds a sort of cosmogony that starts with an way of reasoning about khora, or matter (cf.
accidental “fricassee of chicken” and ends at I I . 2. 1).
dawn with the dream (or the awakening) of

which is at the basis of the mechanistic and mechanical metaphors which we use to classify
and to explain the events of the psyche. It is this which we aim at and which we form into
images (image-making consciousness) which we produce in order to aim at absent feelings
and make them present (BN, 444).” The body becomes a psychic space in which such
phenomena as pain take place. Psychic space conceived in that way is not arbitrary, it seems
to come about by a kind of a natural reflection of the for-itself on the body as the in-itself. The
for-itself tries to flee the immediate awareness of the body as my contingency. It comes back,
however, as nausea.
21) Joseph S. Catalano, A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Critique of Dialectical Reason’
(Chicago: Universiy of Chicago Press, 1986), 45.
22) Ibid., 45n.
23) This was also a tile of Witold’s Gombrowicz’s first book.
24) Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke, 5.
25) Gombrowicz, Dzieła, vol. 5, 148.

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However, taking into account Gombro- całkowita nieprawda. Myślę, że taki


wicz’s growing pessimism, we should not sposób mówienia o bólu, z lekkością,
eliminate the possibility of reading Kosmos tonem akademickim, to jeden z naj-
as the last and the darkest novel, thereby większych błędów współczesnej filo-
respecting chronological order and the au- zofii, która jest skrajnie mieszczańska
thor’s commentary. What was Gombrowicz’s i przeważnie tworzona przez ludzi
next step after Kosmos? He wrote two impor- z uniwersytetu. A więc wydaje mi
tant plays, Operetka and the unfinished His- się…chcę powiedzieć, że jeśli chodzi
tory. But in his various utterances, he under- o mnie… chciałbym napisać coś,
lined that his next serious project would be co mogłoby dać wyobrażenie bólu,
a play about pain. We have documentation który jest prawdziwie przerażający 287
of this plan. In an interview given to Piera i absolutny, jest samą podstawą rze-
Sanavio for Italian television in 1968 and czywistości. Wszechświat jawi mi
1969 Gombrowicz once more goes back to się jako coś całkowicie czarnego i
the problem of pain. His remarks are worth pustego, gdzie jedyną realną rzeczą
quoting in extenso: jest ta, która wywołuje cierpienie:
właśnie ból. To prawdziwy diabeł,
Wydaje mi się… wydaje mi się, że reszta to tylko deklamacje. Wyobra-
tym razem będę pisał o bólu. Wydaje żam sobie zatem, że jeśli napiszę
mi się, że cała, powiedzmy, intelektu- dramat, o którym wspomniałem,
alna dialektyka naszych czasów jest będzie się zwracał w tym kierunku.
skażona, ponieważ nikt już nie zdaje Ale nie mogę jeszcze zapewnić, że
sobie sprawy z ważności bólu. Ból tak będzie – kiedy zabieram się do
jest faktem podstawowym, funda- pisania, nie wiem nigdy, co stanie się
mentalnym. W tym sensie obecna później; zaczynam coś i ewoluuje w
ignorancja wobec Schopenhauera… nowym kierunku, którego wcale nie
we Francji, ale prawdopodobnie to planowałem.
samo dzieje się także we Włoszech… … Myślę jednak, że tym razem nie
Schopenhauer uważany jest za pisarza zmienię już wiele i ból pozostanie
niemodnego, większość jest jeszcze głównym tematem dramatu lub innej
pod wpływem Hegla, egzystencjali- rzeczy, którą napiszę. Za bardzo mi na
zmu, czego tylko chcieć, słowem… tym zależy, a na dodatek sprawa jest
tak, ta ignorancja to według mnie dziś przemilczana. Niech pan weźmie
wielki błąd. Prawdziwa, naprawdę na przykład strukturalizm. Wygląda
realistyczna postawa wobec życia na to, że on też nie uznaje tego faktu.
– to wiedzieć, iż konkretną rzeczą, Dla mnie człowiek jest istotą deli-
prawdziwą rzeczywistością jest ból. katną i wrażliwą, a ludzka wrażliwość
Współczesna filozofia natomiast przy- ujawnia się, kiedy badać żywego czło-
biera ton akademicki, profesorski, jak wieka w jego konkretnym życiu. Taki
gdyby nie istniało coś takiego jak ból. pan Foucault, który pozwala sobie na
Sartre posuwa się aż do stwierdzenia, stwierdzenie, że człowiek nie istnieje,
że nawet tortura może być przyjemna, wygłasza oczywiście paradoks i wie o
jeśli wyobraża się sobie, że po śmierci tym. A jednak to, co mówi, pozostaje
idzie się do nieba. Moim zdaniem to dla niego prawdą do momentu, w

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M I C HA L OK L OT

którym po raz pierwszy zabolą go universe appears to me as something


zęby: wtedy będzie pewny swojego entirely black and empty, where the
istnienia i w ten sposób jego filozofia only real thing is that which causes
utraci wszelkie znaczenie.26) suffering: precisely pain. This is a true
devil, all the rest is just a declamation.
/I think… I think that his time I will Thus I imagine myself that if I write
be writing about pain. I think that the play which I mentioned, it will
the entire, let us say, intellectual dia- go in this direction. But I cannot be
lectic of our time is infected, for no sure that it will be that way – when I
one realizes the importance of pain. start writing, I never know what will
288 Pain is the major, fundamental fact. happen next; I begin something and
In this sense, the present ignorance that evolves in a new direction which
of Schopenhauer… in France, but I did not plan at all.
perhaps also in Italy… Schopenhauer … I think however, that this time
is presumed to be an outmoded I will not change much and pain
author; the majority is still under will stay the main subject of a play
the influence of Hegel, existential- or of some other thing that I will
ism, whatever you want, in a word… write. I care about it too much, and
yes, that ignorance, in my opinion, what is more, nowadays this matter
is a big mistake. The authentic, truly is ignored. Take for example struc-
realistic attitude towards life – is to turalism. It seems that it does not
know that pain is a concrete thing accept this fact too. For me, man is
and the true reality. Modern philoso- a gentle and sensitive creature, and
phy, however, puts on an academic, human sensitivity manifests itself
professorial tone, as if something only in an inquiry of a living man.
like pain does not exist. Sartre goes Such mister Foucault, who allows
as far as to state that even torture himself the statement that man does
could be pleasant if one imagines not exist, obviously utters a paradox,
that after death one goes to heaven. and he knows it. But still what he says
In my opinion it is not true. I think remains for him the truth until the
that such a way of speaking about moment when he has a toothache for
pain, with lightness, in an academic the first time: he will be then sure of
tone, is one of the biggest mistakes his existence, and in that way his phi-
of contemporary philosophy which losophy will loose all its significance
is extremely bourgeois and usually (trans. M.O.)/.
created by people from the univer-
sity. And thus I think… I want to In the same year Gombrowicz dies. Al-
say that as far as I am concerned…I though, his project remains unfinished, we
would like to write something that can see its traces. Through Kosmos, Gom-
could give an idea of pain which is browicz constructed the background, that
truly terrifying and absolute, which dark and empty universe about which he
is the ultimate basis for reality. The was talking to Piera Sanavio. And the only

26) Gombrowicz, Dzieła, vol. 14, 393–394.

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T H E I M A G E O F PA I N ( “ T R A N S L U C E N T M AT T E R ” ) I N G O M B R O W I C Z

graspable elements, contrasting somehow almost explicitly takes his point of departure
with darkness, are painful and deadly chok- from the place where Gombrowicz aban-
ings of a sparrow, of a cat, and of Ludwik. doned his project: in the Tatra Mountains
Christian Skrzyposzek is perhaps a writer landscape which is also built to some extent
of different stature than Gombrowicz, but out of Young Poland clichés.27) Irzykowski’s
he faithfully fulfills his testament devoting project, a novel devoted to pain was finished,
two novels, Free Tribune [Wolna Trybuna] maybe not perfectly, but still…
and Mojra, precisely to pain. In Mojra, he

289

резюме
Σ Картина боли («прозрачная материя») у Гомбровича

Настоящая статья посвящена картинам боли в произведениях Витольда


Гомбровича. Анализ картины боли как одного из центральных понятий
творчества Гомбровича в целом дает возможность понять специфику его
антиметафизики, противоборствующей дуалистической мысли Запада. Для того,
чтобы сформировать более правильное представление о польской литературе, в
кратких чертах представлена отдельная генеалогическая линия польских писателей,
именуемых нами «материалисты-мистики». Геналогия эта ведется от Кароля
Ижиковского через Гомбровича до Кристиана Скшипошека. Двух первых писателей
роднит незаконченный литературно-творческий проект, посвященный «боли».
Третьему из них – писателю несколько иного, кажется, масштаба по сравнению с
Гомбровичем и Ижиковским – удается реализовать проект этот в своем романе
«Мойра».

Literature

Catalano 1986: Catalano, Joseph S. A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Critique of Dialectical


Reason. – Chicago: Universiy of Chicago Press.
Feuerbach 1971: Feuerbach, Ludwig. Gesamelte Werke. Vol. I : “Frühte Schriften, Kritiken und
Reflexionen (1828–1834). Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
Feuerbach 1971: Feuerbach, Ludwig. Gesamelte Werke. Vol. X : Kleinere Schriften I I I (1846–1850).
– Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
Gombrowicz 1971: Gombrowicz, Witold. Dzieła Zebrane. – Paris: Instytut Literacki.
Gombrowicz 1986–1996: Gombrowicz, Witold. Dzieła. Ed. Jan Błoński, Jerzy Jarzębski. – Kraków:
Wydawnictwo Literackie.

27) Cf. Michal Oklot, “Geometria Bólu. O dwóch powieściach Chrystiana Skrzyposzka,” in
Przegląd Polski, June 1, 2001.

2005

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M I C HA L OK L OT

Gombrowicz 1988: Gombrowicz, Witold. Diary. Ed. Jan Kott. Trans. Lillian Valee. – Evanston:
Northwestern University Press.
Gombrowicz 2000: Gombrowicz, Witold. Ferdydurke. Trans. Danuta Burchardt. – New Haven:
Yale University Press.
Hebbel 1966: Hebbel, Friedrich. Werke. Vol. I V . – München: Carl Hanser Verlag.
Irzykowski 1938: Irzykowski Karol. Lżejszy kaliber. Szkice – Próby dna – Aforyzmy. – Warszawa:
Towarzystwo Wydawnicze „Rój”, 1938.
Irzykowski 2001: Irzykowski, Karol. Dziennik. Vol. I I . – Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie.
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290 Trans. with an introd. Hazel E. Barnes. – New York Philosophical Library.

2005

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