Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz is a satire of Polish identity. However, it is difficult to know what exactly is being satirized if you're not Polish, and not intimately acquainted with Polish history and society.
The story starts off quite realistically (and indeed semi-autobiographically), with the author being stranded in Argentina at the outbreak of World War II. At first his meetings with Polish officials, who are delusional about how Poland will conquer Germany, and who want to parade Gombrowicz around Argentinian high society as an example of Polish genius, can be read as straightforward parody. Later on, his employment in the company run by three feuding Polish businessmen, and the story about the gay man who tries to seduce the Polish young man and the ensuing duel with his father, can still be deciphered up to a point.
However, when the characters become part of the spur-wearing secret society eternally locked in the cellar, things become so weird that it is difficult to make sense of it all. I assume that this represents an element of "Polishness" as viewed by Gombrowicz, but as an outsider reading the (albeit excellent) translation by Danuta Borchardt, I felt completely lost.
I have read Gombrowicz's Diary, but I don't remember it containing a detailed explanation of Trans-Atlantyk, and the feeling I got from it was that Gombrowicz didn't like to literally explain the details of his work. Is there a standard interpretation of what aspects of "Polishness" are represented by the various characters and events in Trans-Atlantyk?