INSATIABILITYThe creative output of Polish writer Stanilslaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (18851939) comprises novels, stories, stage plays, paintings and photographs and represents something of an avant-garde Gesamtkunstwerk. Like his semi-autobiographical novel, 622 Downfalls of Bungo or the Demonic Woman, his 1930 work Insatiability tells the story of the fateful influence of a demonic woman.
Insatiability is set in Europe in the near future. Whilst the old continent is busy trying to defend its identity in the face of an onslaught by the Chinese, 18-year-old Genezip is in the throes of discovering his own identity in sexual, social and even metaphysical terms. Whilst his father, an autocratic brewery owner, lies on his deathbed, Genezip comes under the sway of a dominating, red-haired Russian princess named Irina di Ticonderoga, who was once his fathers mistress. However, Genezip loses his innocence not to her but to an avant-garde composer named Putricides Tengier, a homosexual with a hunchback, who uses philosophical arguments to seduce the poor boy whilst he protects him from attack by a pack of howling wolves during a nocturnal encounter.
At his fathers behest, Genezip puts himself under the command of Commander KocmoŒluchowicz, who is trying to defend Poland against the Chinks. However, from this point on, Genezips fate is sealed, for, once in the capital, the young man with an authority fixation soon becomes acquainted with life in the modern metropolis. Already fragile and uptight as a result of his previous sexual encounters, the young man now surrenders himself with masochistic zeal to his commander, in whom he sees a substitute father, and to a Russian actress named Persy, who far exceeds her predecessor both in terms of her domineering character and her demoniacal personality.