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Human on the Periphery of Community Witold Gombrowicz on Provincialism

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In his literary works, Witold Gombrowicz has developed an interesting concept of a person entangled in a social sphere. A human being, according to the author of Ferdydurke, is an intrinsic being autonomically shaping his or her attitude in relations with other people. It is rather other people's circle, a social form, that fundamentally conditions the way a particular person thinks and acts. The depiction of an individual, portrayed by Gombrowicz, is a scale of attitudes ranging from the attitude of total submission to a social form to the attitude of peculiar freedom from the form. In my article I raise the questions of broadly understood “province-center” relations in the context of Gombrowicz's anthropological theses. Is the attitude of conformity and imitative adopting of thinking and behavior patterns characteristic of the “province” or of the “center” does? Is the “province” doomed to imitative nature of thinking and copying of what the “center” does? Where is it easier to free oneself from the social influence and reach intellectual and cultural autonomy?

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012


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