Cut Off From Beauty

Of the books I have pre-ordered it is Witold Gombrowicz’s Diary that I am most keenly anticipating. The diary is one of Yale University Press’ exciting Margellos World Republic of Letters series.

Whetting my appetite still further, Thomas posted a sample that anticipates the thrill of this new publication of Gombrowicz’s diaries.

I do not believe, therefore, that death is man’s real problem or that an art that is entirely permeated by it is completely authentic. Our real issue is growing old, that aspect of death that we experience daily. Perhaps not even growing old but the fact that it is so completely, so terribly cut off from beauty. Our gradual dying does not disturb us, it is rather that the beauty of life becomes inaccessible to us. At the cemetery I spotted a young boy walking among the graves like a being from another world, mysteriously and abundantly blooming while we looked like paupers. It struck me, however, that I did not feel our helplessness as something categorically inevitable.

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