This is the last published writing by the author, even if he wrote it for many years and was known by some to be his most valued possession. It is a kind of raw notes, true and merciless-on life, not only on himself, but mostly his private things. Like, his love affairs, his physical maladies down to falling teeth, infection on his testicles or triper drop, financial and social status (which was highly oscillating during the time).
Necessary a post-humous publication, probably not even meant to be else, since it is full of "non-acceptable" (at his time) details, like his homosexuality, and ofen using the service of street whores, male or female, or being involved into hazardous street-sex encounters, which even brought him some visits to local police stations.
Rarely I saw such an overly honest text. In fact, I do not think I ever saw such a thing, ever, except maybe in "Un-expurgated Diary" of Anais Nin. Both works have an anthropological value, might well one day be exposed in an exhibition as "a human of the middle of XX ct."!
The book is published by a large investment of work and ...detachment of his wife and friends (not to be hurt by the revelations). Being rather a sketch of the diary than the diary (Gombrowicz was renowned for his-equally merciless-social diary), it is relying heawily on foot-notes, but they are non-intrusive and well-measured.
I read the Polish version, the 1st edition, from 2013. It went rather un-eventful in publication even in ultra-conservatist Poland of today, where Gombrowicz is esteemed as a literature bard. For that part Polish are a reasonable nation, not estranging themselves from even the most unsympathetic characters of their culture life. And Gombrowicz definitely was the one who would share the hostile feelings towards the establishment of today's Poland, as he did towards the Polish establishment at his time.
I was attracted to the book by the possibilty to know more about the author, whom I appreciate for independence of thought when it was not at all simple. If anything, Gombrowicz remains brutally frank, and he is not avoiding the responsibilty for his being himself.
Nowadays it is all too easy to forget that there was a time, not so long
time ago, when one could not tell to the "establishment" to go fuck
themselves and die in oblivion... In fact, in our time, which is that of neo-concilianism, we even more rarely see the uncompromise fight for one's personal right to be her/himself. An artist became "a celebrity", or simply "a nobody".
Gombrowicz is, even today, a welcome refreshing wind in the steam of the futile efforts of so many a (wo)man to be liked (not only on Facebook), to be relevant.