Gombrowicz and Contexts
In the six studies summarized below W. Gombrowicz is presented in selected contexts. Examining Gombrowicz's attitude toward theatre as an art form and as a form of life, Millati points out that although Gombrowicz claimed that he had never been a theatregoer and had taken no particular interest in theatre as an art form, he was not only convinced that social life resembled theatre and that people were in fact actors by nature, but also attempted to draw practical conclusions from this assumption. Based on testimonies of people who knew Gombrowicz personally, Millati reconstructs some of Gombrowicz's acting techniques and strategies. In a thorough analysis of Henryk's initial monologue in 'The Marriage', Z. Majchrowski points out the allusions and references to the tradition of Polish romanticism (Mickiewicz, Krasinski) and neo-romanticism (Wyspianski, Micinski), as well as to Paul Valery, Shakespeare, Calderon de la Barca, and Goethe - but, most of all, discusses the major difficulties arising when one wishes to stage the play. In turn R. Paczocha describes how Gombrowicz was perceived by two Polish periodicals: the professional 'Teatr' (Theatre) monthly published in Poland, and ' Wiadomosci' (News) published in London by and for Polish emigres. Pondering on the role of music in productions of Gombrowicz's plays, M. Komorowska not only describes and analyses the multitude of scores composed to 'Operetta' by such composers as K. Trow, T. Kiesewetter, H.M. Majewski, Z. Krauze, or K. Debski, but also pays attention to other works by Gombrowicz in which music seemed less obvious but came to play a significant role in some theatre productions like, for example, in 'The Marriage' directed by Lavelli in Paris, or the mini-opera 'Barefoot Joe'. Complementing this essay M. Gmys, concentrates on the opera itself and analyses both the scores and librettos inspired by 'Princess Yvonne', and 'The Marriage'. He has also undertaken the interpretation of 'Yvonne, Prinzessin von Burgund' composed by Boris Blacher, 'Die Trauung' by Volker David Kirchner, and 'Iwona' by Zygmunt Krauze. A story of the only theatre in the world named in honour of Witold Gombrowicz is told by J. Ciechowicz. The Municipal Theatre in Gdynia was named after Gombrowicz in 2000, thanks to the initiative and efforts of the theatre's manager, Julia Wernio. The official christening took place on March 11, and since then, the theatre organises on that day annual sessions called 'Tea at Gombrowicz's', which are accompanied by various artistic events.
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