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“And so it was this coincidence that was partially (oh, only partially!) of my own doing—and that’s exactly what was so difficult, awful, misleading, I could never know to what degree I was the perpetrator, configuring the configurations around me, oh, the criminal keeps returning to the scene of the crime!”

“I gladly call this work ‘a novel about a reality that is creating itself.’ And because a detective novel is precisely this—an attempt at organizing chaos—Cosmos has a little of the form of a detective romance. I am establishing two starting points, two anomalies, very distant from one another: (a) a hanged sparrow, (b) the association of Katasia’s lips with Lena’s. These two puzzles will begin to demand sense. One will permeate the other in striving to create a whole.”
—Witold Gombrowicz, Diary, 1966 [Trans. Vallee]

Witold, the young narrator, and his friend Fuchs arrive in a family pension in the country mid-summer. The discovery of a dead sparrow, hanged on an iron thread from the crook of a branch, sets off a series of similarly strange signs that knot into one another in the more and more cramped atmosphere recalling that of a police novel. It all leads to a brutal outcome—a suite of hangings.

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"Cosmos", adapted and directed by Jerzy Jarocki, Teatr Narodowy, Warsaw, 2005.

“ […] In Cosmos, I am telling the simple story of a simple student.
“This student goes to spend his holidays as a paying guest in a house where he meets two women, one has a hideous mouth which has been ruined by a motor car accident, while the other has an attractive mouth. The two mouths are associated in his mind and become an obsession. On the other hand he has seen a sparrow hanging from a wire and a piece of wood hanging from a thread... . And all this, a little out of boredom, a little out of curiosity, a little out of love, out of violent passion, starts dragging him towards a certain means of action ... to which he abandons himself, but not without skepticism. […]
“Cosmos is an ordinary introduction to an extraordinary world, to the wings of the world, if you like.”
—A Kind of Testament: Interviews with Dominique de Roux [Trans. Hamilton]
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Production by Jerzy Jarocki, Warsaw, 2005.

Structure de Cosmos

I.  « Je vous raconterai une autre aventure... »
II.  « Je ne peux pas raconter cela... »
III.  « Tout cela était menu... »
IV.  « Le jour suivant se montra distrait... »
V.  « Au-dessus de moi... »
VI.  « Il fut enterré de l’autre côté de la clôture... »
VII.  « Tout se passait dans l’éloignement... »
VIII.  « Lucien a dit à Léna d’une voix somnolente... »
IX.  « Elle me servit et le silence se fit... »
X.  « Il me sera difficile de raconter la suite... »