InÂ The Possessed, Witold Gombrowicz, considered byÂ many to be Poland’s greatest modernist, draws togetherÂ the familiar tropes of the Gothic novel to produce aÂ darkly funny and playful subversion of the form. WithÂ dreams of escaping his small-town existence and theÂ limitations of his status, a young tennis coach travelsÂ to the heart of the Polish countryside where he is toÂ train Maja Ocholowska, a beautiful and promisingÂ player whose bourgeois family has fallen upon difficultÂ circumstances. But no sooner has he arrived than theÂ relationship with his pupil develops into one of twistedÂ love and hate, and he becomes embroiled in the fantasticÂ happenings taking place at the dilapidated castleÂ nearby. Haunted kitchens, bewitched towels, connivingÂ secretaries and famous clairvoyants all conspire toÂ determine the fate of the young lovers and the mad princeÂ residing in the castle. Translated directly into EnglishÂ for the first time by Antonia Lloyd-Jones,Â The PossessedÂ is a comic masterpiece that, despite being a literaryÂ pastiche, has all the hallmarks of Gombrowicz’s typicallyÂ provocative style.