Limited Editions Club The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz - Illustrated by Janusz Kapusta - Signed by the Author & Illustrator - NOT NUMBERED - No Sleeve - No extra tipped in Litho - Excellent Condition. Czeslaw Milosz was a Polish-American poet, prose writer, translator, and diplomat. Regarded as one of the great poets of the 20th century, he won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature.In its citation, the Swedish Academy called Milosz a writer who "voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts". /,  also US: /-l??? /, [e] Polish:'t?? (About this soundlisten); 30 June 1911 - 14 August 2004 was a Polish-American poet, prose writer, translator, and diplomat.
Milosz survived the German occupation of Warsaw during World War II and became a cultural attaché for the Polish government during the postwar period. When communist authorities threatened his safety, he defected to France and ultimately chose exile in the United States, where he became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
His poetry-particularly about his wartime experience-and his appraisal of Stalinism in a prose book, The Captive Mind, brought him renown as a leading émigré artist and intellectual. Throughout his life and work, Milosz tackled questions of morality, politics, history, and faith. As a translator, he introduced Western works to a Polish audience, and as a scholar and editor, he championed a greater awareness of Slavic literature in the West.
Faith played a role in his work as he explored his Catholicism and personal experience. Milosz died in Kraków, Poland, in 2004. He is interred in Skalka, a church known in Poland as a place of honor for distinguished Poles.
Life in the United States. University of California at Berkeley. Czeslaw Milosz was born on 30 June 1911, in the village of Seteniai (Polish: Szetejnie), Kovno Governorate, Russian Empire (now Kedainiai district, Kaunas County, Lithuania). Milosz was born into a prominent family. On his mother's side, his grandfather was Zygmunt Kunat, a descendant of a Polish family that traced its lineage to the 13th century and owned an estate in Krasnogruda (in present-day Poland).Having studied agriculture in Warsaw, Zygmunt settled in Seteniai after marrying Milosz's grandmother, Jozefa, a descendant of the noble Syruc family, which was of Lithuanian origin. One of her ancestors, Szymon Syruc, had been personal secretary to Stanislaw I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.  Milosz's paternal grandfather, Artur Milosz, was also from a noble family and fought in the 1863 January Uprising for Polish independence. Milosz's grandmother, Stanislawa, was a doctor's daughter from Riga, Latvia, and a member of the German/Polish von Mohl family.  The Milosz estate was in Serbiny, a name that Milosz's biographer Andrzej Franaszek has suggested could indicate Serbian origin; it is possible the Milosz family originated in Serbia and settled in present-day Lithuania after being expelled from Germany centuries earlier.
 Milosz's father was born and educated in Riga. Milosz's mother was born in Seteniai and educated in Kraków.  He memorialized his childhood in a 1955 novel, The Issa Valley, and a 1959 memoir, Native Realm.In these works, he described the influence of his Catholic grandmother, Jozefa, his burgeoning love for literature, and his early awareness, as a member of the Polish gentry in Lithuania, of the role of class in society. Czeslaw Milosz, third row from top and fourth from left, with fellow students, Stefan Batory University, Wilno, 1930. Milosz's early years were marked by upheaval. When his father was hired to work on infrastructure projects in Siberia, he and his mother traveled to be with him.  After World War I broke out in 1914, Milosz's father was conscripted into the Russian army, tasked with engineering roads and bridges for troop movements. Milosz and his mother were sheltered in Vilnius when the German army captured it in 1915. Afterward, they once again joined Milosz's father, following him as the front moved further into Russia, where, in 1917, Milosz's brother, Andrzej, was born. But the Polish-Soviet War broke out in 1919, during which Milosz's father was involved in a failed attempt to incorporate the newly independent Lithuania into the Second Polish Republic, resulting in his expulsion from Lithuania and the family's move to what was then known as Wilno, which had come under Polish control after the Polish-Lithuanian War of 1920.  The Polish-Soviet War continued, forcing the family to move again. At one point during the conflict, Polish soldiers fired at Milosz and his mother, an episode he recounted in Native Realm.
Despite the interruptions of wartime wanderings, Milosz proved to be an exceptional student with a facility for languages. He ultimately learned Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, English, French, and Hebrew.  After graduation from Sigismund Augustus Gymnasium in Wilno, he entered Stefan Batory University in 1929 as a law student. While at university, Milosz joined a student group called The Intellectuals' Club and a student poetry group called Zagary, along with the young poets Jerzy Zagórski, Teodor Bujnicki, Aleksander Rymkiewicz, Jerzy Putrament, and Józef Maslinski. His first published poems appeared in the university's student magazine in 1930. In 1931, he visited Paris, where he first met his distant cousin, Oscar Milosz, a French-language poet of Lithuanian descent who had become a Swedenborgian. Oscar became a mentor and inspiration.  Returning to Wilno, Milosz's early awareness of class difference and sympathy for those less fortunate than himself inspired his defense of Jewish students at the university who were being harassed by an anti-Semitic mob.
Stepping between the mob and the Jewish students, Milosz fended off attacks. One student was killed when a rock was thrown at his head. Milosz's first volume of poetry, A Poem on Frozen Time, was published in Polish in 1933. In the same year, he publicly read his poetry at an anti-racist "Poetry of Protest" event in Wilno, occasioned by Hitler's rise to power in Germany.
 In 1934, he graduated with a law degree, and the poetry group Zagary disbanded. Milosz relocated to Paris on a scholarship to study for one year and write articles for a newspaper back in Wilno. In Paris, he frequently met with his cousin Oscar. His second poetry collection, Three Winters, was published that same year, eliciting from one critic a comparison to Adam Mickiewicz.
 After only one year at Radio Wilno, Milosz was dismissed due to an accusation that he was a left-wing sympathizer: as a student, he had adopted socialist views from which, by then, he had publicly distanced himself, and he and his boss, Tadeusz Byrski, had produced programming that included performances by Jews and Byelorussians, which angered right-wing nationalists. After Byrski made a trip to the Soviet Union, an anonymous complaint was lodged with the management of Radio Wilno that the station housed a communist cell, and Byrski and Milosz were dismissed. Milosz was in Warsaw when it was bombarded as part of the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Along with colleagues from Polish Radio, he escaped the city, making his way to Lwów. But when he learned that Janina had remained in Warsaw with her parents, he looked for a way back.The Soviet invasion of Poland thwarted his plans, and, to avoid the incoming Red Army, he fled to Bucharest. After the Red Army invaded Lithuania, he procured fake documents that he used to enter the part of German-occupied Poland the Germans had dubbed the "General Government".
It was a difficult journey, mostly on foot, that ended in summer 1940. Finally back in Warsaw, he reunited with Janina. Like many Poles at the time, to evade notice by German authorities, Milosz participated in underground activities.
For example, with higher education officially forbidden to Poles, he attended underground lectures by Wladyslaw Tatarkiewicz, the Polish philosopher and historian of philosophy and aesthetics.  He translated Shakespeare's As You Like It and T. Eliot's The Waste Land into Polish. Along with his friend the novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski, he also arranged for the publication of his third volume of poetry, Poems, under a pseudonym in September 1940. The pseudonym was "Jan Syruc" and the title page said the volume had been published by a fictional press in Lwów in 1939; in fact, it may have been the first clandestine book published in occupied Warsaw. In 1942, Milosz arranged for the publication of an anthology of Polish poets, Invincible Song: Polish Poetry of War Time, by an underground press. Czeslaw Milosz (right) with brother Andrzej Milosz at PEN Club World Congress, Warsaw, May 1999. Milosz's riskiest underground wartime activity was aiding Jews in Warsaw, which he did through an underground socialist organization called Freedom. His brother, Andrzej, was also active in helping Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland; in 1943, he transported the Polish Jew Seweryn Tross and his wife from Vilnius to Warsaw.
Milosz took in the Trosses, found them a hiding place, and supported them financially. The Trosses ultimately died during the Warsaw Uprising.Milosz helped at least three other Jews in similar ways: Felicja Wolkominska and her brother and sister. Despite his willingness to engage in underground activity and vehement opposition to the Nazis, Milosz did not join the Polish Home Army. In later years, he explained that this was partly out of an instinct for self-preservation and partly because he saw its leadership as right-wing and dictatorial.  He also did not participate in the planning or execution of the Warsaw Uprising.
According to Irena Grudzinska-Gross, he saw the uprising as a "doomed military effort" and lacked the "patriotic elation" for it. He called the uprising "a blameworthy, lightheaded enterprise",  but later criticized the Red Army for failing to support it when it had the opportunity to do so. German troops setting fire to Warsaw buildings, 1944. As German troops began torching Warsaw buildings in August 1944, Milosz was captured and held in a prisoner transit camp; he was later rescued by a Catholic nun-a stranger to him-who pleaded with the Germans on his behalf.  Once freed, he and Janina escaped the city, ultimately settling in a village outside Kraków, where they were staying when the Red Army swept through Poland in January 1945, after Warsaw had been largely destroyed.
In the preface to his 1953 book The Captive Mind, Milosz wrote, I do not regret those years in Warsaw, which was, I believe, the most agonizing spot in the whole of terrorized Europe. Had I then chosen emigration, my life would certainly have followed a very different course. But my knowledge of the crimes which Europe has witnessed in the twentieth century would be less direct, less concrete than it is.  Immediately after the war, Milosz published his fourth poetry collection, Rescue; it focused on his wartime experiences and contains some of his most critically praised work, including the 20-poem cycle "The World, " composed like a primer for naïve schoolchildren, and the cycle "Voices of Poor People".The volume also contains some of his most frequently anthologized poems, including "A Song on the End of the World", "Campo Dei Fiori", and "A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto". From 1945 to 1951, Milosz served as a cultural attaché for the newly formed People's Republic of Poland. It was in this capacity that he first met Jane Zielonko, the future translator of The Captive Mind, with whom he had a brief relationship.  He moved from New York City to Washington, D. And finally to Paris, organizing and promoting Polish cultural occasions such as musical concerts, art exhibitions, and literary and cinematic events. Although he was a representative of Poland, which had become a Soviet satellite country behind the Iron Curtain, he was not a member of any communist party. In The Captive Mind, he explained his reasons for accepting the role.
My mother tongue, work in my mother tongue, is for me the most important thing in life. And my country, where what I wrote could be printed and could reach the public, lay within the Eastern Empire.My aim and purpose was to keep alive freedom of thought in my own special field; I sought in full knowledge and conscience to subordinate my conduct to the fulfillment of that aim. I served abroad because I was thus relieved from direct pressure and, in the material which I sent to my publishers, could be bolder than my colleagues at home.
I did not want to become an émigré and so give up all chance of taking a hand in what was going on in my own country. Milosz did not publish a book while he was a representative of the Polish government. Instead, he wrote articles for various Polish periodicals introducing readers to American writers like Eliot, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Robert Lowell, and W. He also translated into Polish Shakespeare's Othello and the work of Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Pablo Neruda, and others. In 1947, Milosz's son, Anthony, was born in Washington, D.In 1948, Milosz arranged for the Polish government to fund a Department of Polish Studies at Columbia University. Named for Adam Mickiewicz, the department featured lectures by Manfred Kridl, Milosz's friend who was then on the faculty of Smith College, and produced a scholarly book about Mickiewicz. Mickiewicz's granddaughter wrote a letter to Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the president of Columbia University, to express her approval, but the Polish American Congress, an influential group of Polish émigrés, denounced the arrangement in a letter to Eisenhower that they shared with the press, which alleged a communist infiltration at Columbia.
Students picketed and called for boycotts. One faculty member resigned in protest.
Despite the controversy, the department was established, the lectures took place, and the book was produced, but the department was discontinued in 1954 when funding from Poland ceased. In 1949, Milosz visited Poland for the first time since joining its diplomatic corps and was appalled by the conditions he saw, including an atmosphere of pervasive fear of the government.
After returning to the U. As the Polish government, influenced by Josef Stalin, became more oppressive, his superiors began to view Milosz as a threat: he was outspoken in his reports to Warsaw and met with people not approved by his superiors. Consequently, his superiors called him "an individual who ideologically is totally alien".  Toward the end of 1950, when Janina was pregnant with their second child, Milosz was recalled to Warsaw, where in December 1950 his passport was confiscated, ostensibly until it could be determined that he did not plan to defect.
Realizing that he was in danger if he remained in Poland, Milosz left for Paris in January 1951. Upon arriving in Paris, Milosz went into hiding, aided by the staff of the Polish émigré magazine Kultura.  With his wife and son still in the United States, he applied to enter the U. At the time, the U. Was in the grip of McCarthyism, and influential Polish émigrés had convinced American officials that Milosz was a communist.
 Unable to leave France, Milosz was not present for the birth of his second son, John Peter, in Washington, D. With the United States closed to him, Milosz requested-and was granted-political asylum in France. After three months in hiding, he announced his defection at a press conference and in a Kultura article, "No", that explained his refusal to live in Poland or continue working for the Polish regime. He was the first artist of note from a communist country to make public his reasons for breaking ties with his government.
 His case attracted attention in Poland, where his work was banned and he was attacked in the press, and in the West, where prominent individuals voiced criticism and support. For example, the future Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, then a supporter of the Soviet Union, attacked him in a communist newspaper as "The Man Who Ran Away". On the other hand, Albert Camus, another future Nobel laureate, visited Milosz and offered his support.  Another supporter during this period was the Swiss philosopher Jeanne Hersch, with whom Milosz had a brief romantic affair.Milosz was finally reunited with his family in 1953, when Janina and the children joined him in France.  That same year saw the publication of The Captive Mind, a nonfiction work that uses case studies to dissect the methods and consequences of Soviet communism, which at the time had prominent admirers in the West.
The book brought Milosz his first readership in the United States, where it was credited by some on the political left (such as Susan Sontag) with helping to change perceptions about communism.  The German philosopher Karl Jaspers described it as a "significant historical document".  It became a staple of political science courses and is considered a classic work in the study of totalitarianism.Milosz's years in France were productive. In addition to The Captive Mind, he published two poetry collections Daylight (1954) and A Treatise on Poetry (1957), two novels The Seizure of Power (1955) and The Issa Valley (1955), and a memoir Native Realm (1959). All were published in Polish by an émigré press in Paris. Andrzej Franaszek has called A Treatise on Poetry Milosz's magnum opus, while the scholar Helen Vendler compared it to The Waste Land, a work "so powerful that it bursts the bounds in which it was written-the bounds of language, geography, epoch".  A long poem divided into four sections, A Treatise on Poetry surveys Polish history, recounts Milosz's experience of war, and explores the relationship between art and history. In 1956, Milosz and Janina were married. In 1960, Milosz was offered a position as a visiting lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. With this offer, and with the climate of McCarthyism abated, he was able to move to the United States.  He proved to be an adept and popular teacher, and was offered tenure after only two months.  The rarity of this, and the degree to which he had impressed his colleagues, are underscored by the fact that Milosz lacked a PhD and teaching experience.
Yet his deep learning was obvious, and after years of working administrative jobs that he found stifling, he told friends that he was in his element in a classroom. Milosz began to publish scholarly articles in English and Polish on a variety of authors, including Fyodor Dostoevsky.
But despite his successful transition to the U. He described his early years at Berkeley as frustrating, as he was isolated from friends and viewed as a political figure rather than a great poet. In fact, some of his Berkeley faculty colleagues, unaware of his creative output, expressed astonishment when he won the Nobel Prize.  His poetry was not available in English, and he was not able to publish in Poland. As part of an effort to introduce American readers to his poetry, as well as to his fellow Polish poets' work, Milosz conceived and edited the anthology Postwar Polish Poetry, which was published in English in 1965.
Merwin, and American scholars like Clare Cavanagh, have credited it with a profound impact.  It was many English-language readers' first exposure to Milosz's poetry, as well as that of Polish poets like Wislawa Szymborska, Zbigniew Herbert, and Tadeusz Rózewicz. In the same year, Milosz's poetry also appeared in the first issue of Modern Poetry in Translation, an English-language journal founded by prominent literary figures Ted Hughes and Daniel Weissbort.
The issue also featured Miroslav Holub, Yehuda Amichai, Ivan Lalic, Vasko Popa, Zbigniew Herbert, and Andrei Voznesensky.  In 1969, Milosz's textbook The History of Polish Literature was published in English. He followed this with a volume of his own work, Selected Poems (1973), some of which he translated into English himself. At the same time, Milosz continued to publish in Polish with an émigré press in Paris.
His poetry collections from this period include King Popiel and Other Poems (1962), Bobo's Metamorphosis (1965), City Without a Name (1969), and From the Rising of the Sun (1974). During Milosz's time at Berkeley, the campus became a hotbed of student protest, notably as the home of the Free Speech Movement, which has been credited with helping to "define a generation of student activism" across the United States.  Milosz's relationship to student protesters was sometimes antagonistic: he called them "spoiled children of the bourgeoisie" and their political zeal naïve. At one campus event in 1970, he mocked protesters who claimed to be demonstrating for peace and love: Talk to me about love when they come into your cell one morning, line you all up, and say'You and you, step forward-it's your time to die-unless any of your friends loves you so much he wants to take your place!
 Comments like these were in keeping with his stance toward American counterculture of the 1960s in general. For example, in 1968, when Milosz was listed as a signatory of an open letter of protest written by poet and counterculture figure Allen Ginsberg and published in The New York Review of Books, Milosz responded by calling the letter "dangerous nonsense" and insisting that he had not signed it. After 18 years, Milosz retired from teaching in 1978. To mark the occasion, he was awarded a "Berkeley Citation", the University of California's equivalent of an honorary doctorate.
On 9 October 1980, the Swedish Academy announced that Milosz had won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  The award catapulted him to global fame. On the day the prize was announced, Milosz held a brief press conference and then left to teach a class on Dostoevsky.
 In his Nobel lecture, Milosz described his view of the role of the poet, lamented the tragedies of the 20th century, and paid tribute to his cousin Oscar. Many Poles became aware of Milosz for the first time when he won the Nobel Prize.
 After a 30-year ban in Poland, his writing was finally published there in limited selections. He was also able to visit Poland for the first time since fleeing in 1951 and was greeted by crowds with a hero's welcome.  He met with leading Polish figures like Lech Walesa and Pope John Paul II. At the same time, his early work, until then only available in Polish, began to be translated into English and many other languages.In 1981, Milosz was appointed the Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, where he was invited to deliver the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures.  He used the opportunity, as he had before becoming a Nobel laureate, to draw attention to writers who had been unjustly imprisoned or persecuted. The lectures were published as The Witness of Poetry (1983).
Milosz continued to publish work in Polish through his longtime publisher in Paris, including the poetry collections Hymn of the Pearl (1981), Bells in Winter (1984) and Unattainable Earth (1986), and the essay collection Beginning with My Streets (1986). In 1986, Milosz's wife, Janina, died. In 1988, Milosz's Collected Poems appeared in English; it was the first of several attempts to collect all his poetry into a single volume.
After the fall of communism in Poland, he split his time between Berkeley and Kraków, and he began to publish his writing in Polish with a publisher based in Kraków. When Lithuania broke free from the Soviet Union in 1991, Milosz visited for the first time since 1939.  In 2000, he moved to Kraków.
In 1992, Milosz married Carol Thigpen, an academic at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. They remained married until her death in 2002.  His work from the 1990s includes the poetry collections Facing the River (1994) and Roadside Dog (1997), and the collection of short prose Milosz's ABC's (1997).
Milosz's last stand-alone volumes of poetry were This (2000), and The Second Space (2002). Uncollected poems written afterward appeared in English in New and Selected Poems (2004) and, posthumously, in Selected and Last Poems (2011). Milosz's final resting place: Skalka Roman Catholic Church, Kraków. The Latin inscription reads "May you rest well"; the Polish inscription reads The cultivation of learning, too, is love.
Czeslaw Milosz died on 14 August 2004, at his Kraków home, aged 93. He was given a state funeral at the historic Mariacki Church in Kraków. Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka attended, as did the former president of Poland, Lech Walesa. Thousands of people lined the streets to witness his coffin moved by military escort to his final resting place at Skalka Roman Catholic Church, where he was one of the last to be commemorated.
 In front of that church, the poets Seamus Heaney, Adam Zagajewski, and Robert Hass read Milosz's poem "In Szetejnie" in Polish, French, English, Russian, Lithuanian, and Hebrew-all the languages Milosz knew. Media from around the world covered the funeral. Protesters threatened to disrupt the proceedings on the grounds that Milosz was anti-Polish, anti-Catholic, and had signed a petition supporting gay and lesbian freedom of speech and assembly.  Pope John Paul II, along with Milosz's confessor, issued public messages confirming that Milosz had received the sacraments, which quelled the protest.
His work included Polish documentaries about his brother. Milosz's son, Anthony, is a composer and software designer. He studied linguistics, anthropology, and chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, and neuroscience at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. In addition to releasing recordings of his own compositions, he has translated some of his father's poems into English. Lithuanian stamp, 100th anniversary of Milosz's birth.In addition to the Nobel Prize in Literature, Milosz received the following awards. Polish PEN Translation Prize (1974).
Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts (1976). Neustadt International Prize for Literature (1978). National Medal of Arts (United States, 1989). Robert Kirsch Award (1990).
Order of the White Eagle (Poland, 1994). Milosz was named a distinguished visiting professor or fellow at many institutions, including the University of Michigan and University of Oklahoma, where he was a Puterbaugh Fellow in 1999.  He was an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,  the American Academy of Arts and Letters,  and the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.  He received honorary doctorates from Harvard University,  the University of Michigan,  the University of California at Berkeley, Jagiellonian University,  Catholic University of Lublin,  and Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania.  The last institution also has an academic center named for Milosz.
In 1992, Milosz was made an honorary citizen of Lithuania,  where his birthplace was made into a museum and conference center.  In 1993, he was made an honorary citizen of Kraków.
His books also received awards. His first, A Poem on Frozen Time, won an award from the Union of Polish Writers in Wilno.  The Seizure of Power received the Prix Littéraire Européen (European Literary Prize). The collection Roadside Dog received a Nike Award in Poland. In 1989, Milosz was named one of the "Righteous Among the Nations" at Israel's Yad Vashem memorial to the Holocaust, in recognition of his efforts to save Jews in Warsaw during World War II.Milosz has also been honored posthumously. The Polish Parliament declared 2011, the centennial of his birth, the "Year of Milosz".  It was marked by conferences and tributes throughout Poland, as well as in New York City,  at Yale University,  and at the Dublin Writers Festival,  among many other locations.
Streets are named for him near Paris,  Vilnius,  and in the Polish cities of Kraków,  Poznan,  Gdansk,  Bialystok,  and Wroclaw.  In Gdansk there is a Czeslaw Milosz Square.  In 2013, a primary school in Vilnius was named for Milosz,  joining schools in Mierzecice, Poland, and Schaumburg, Illinois, that bear his name. Milosz's poem on the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970, Gdansk, Poland.
In 1978, the Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky called Milosz "one of the great poets of our time; perhaps the greatest".  Milosz has been cited as an influence by numerous writers-contemporaries and succeeding generations. For example, scholars have written about Milosz's influence on the writing of Seamus Heaney,  and Clare Cavanagh has identified the following poets as having benefited from Milosz's influence: Robert Pinsky, Edward Hirsch, Rosanna Warren, Robert Hass, Charles Simic, Mary Karr, Carolyn Forché, Mark Strand, Ted Hughes, Joseph Brodsky, and Derek Walcott. By being smuggled into Poland, Milosz's writing was a source of inspiration to the anti-communist Solidarity movement there in the early 1980s. Lines from his poem "You Who Wronged" are inscribed on the Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970 in Gdansk, where Solidarity originated.Of the effect of Milosz's edited volume Postwar Polish Poetry on English-language poets, Merwin wrote, "Milosz's book had been a talisman and had made most of the literary bickering among the various ideological encampments, then most audible in the poetic doctrines in English, seem frivolous and silly".  Similarly, the British poet and scholar Donald Davie argued that, for many English-language writers, Milosz's work encouraged an expansion of poetry to include multiple viewpoints and an engagement with subjects of intellectual and historical importance: "I have suggested, going for support to the writings of Milosz, that no concerned and ambitious poet of the present day, aware of the enormities of twentieth-century history, can for long remain content with the privileged irresponsibility allowed to, or imposed on, the lyric poet". Milosz's writing continues to be the subject of academic study, conferences, and cultural events.
His papers, including manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials, are housed at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Milosz's birth in a time and place of shifting borders and overlapping cultures, and his later naturalization as an American citizen, have led to competing claims about his nationality.  Although his family identified as Polish and Polish was his primary language, and although he frequently spoke of Poland as his country, he also publicly identified himself as one of the last citizens of the multi-ethnic Grand Duchy of Lithuania.  Writing in a Polish newspaper in 2000, he claimed, I was born in the very center of Lithuania and so have a greater right than my great forebear, Mickiewicz, to write'O Lithuania, my country. Public statements such as these, and numerous others, inspired discussion about his nationality, including a claim that he was "arguably the greatest spokesman and representative of a Lithuania that, in Milosz's mind, was bigger than its present incarnation".  Others have viewed Milosz as an American author, hosting exhibitions and writing about him from that perspective and including his work in anthologies of American poetry. But in The New York Review of Books in 1981, the critic John Bayley wrote, "nationality is not a thing [Milosz] can take seriously; it would be hard to imagine a greater writer more emancipated from even its most subtle pretensions".  Echoing this notion, the scholar and diplomat Piotr Wilczek argued that, even when he was greeted as a national hero in Poland, Milosz "made a distinct effort to remain a universal thinker".
 Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate his birth centenary in 2011, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite stressed that Milosz's works "unite the Lithuanian and Polish people and reveal how close and how fruitful the ties between our people can be".  He translated parts of the Bible into Polish, and allusions to Catholicism pervade his poetry, culminating in a long 2001 poem, "A Theological Treatise". For some critics, Milosz's belief that literature should provide spiritual fortification was outdated: Franaszek suggests that Milosz's belief was evidence of a "beautiful naïveté",  while David Orr, citing Milosz's dismissal of "poetry which does not save nations or people", accused him of "pompous nonsense". Milosz expressed some criticism of both Catholicism and Poland (a majority-Catholic country), causing furor in some quarters when it was announced that he would be interred in Kraków's historic Skalka church.  Cynthia Haven writes that, to some readers, Milosz's embrace of Catholicism can seem surprising and complicates the understanding of him and his work.
Milosz's body of work comprised multiple literary genres: poetry, fiction (particularly the novel), autobiography, scholarship, personal essay, and lectures. His letters are also of interest to scholars and lay readers; for example, his correspondence with writers such as Jerzy Andrzejewski, Witold Gombrowicz, and Thomas Merton have been published. At the outset of his career, Milosz was known as a "catastrophist" poet-a label critics applied to him and other poets from the Zagary poetry group to describe their use of surreal imagery and formal inventiveness in reaction to a Europe beset by extremist ideologies and war.  While Milosz evolved away from the apocalyptic view of catastrophist poetry, he continued to pursue formal inventiveness throughout his career. As a result, his poetry demonstrates a wide-ranging mastery of form, from long or epic poems e.
A Treatise on Poetry to poems of just two lines e. "On the Death of a Poet" from the collection This, and from prose poems and free verse to classic forms such as the ode or elegy. Some of his poems use rhyme, but many do not.In numerous cases, Milosz used form to illuminate meaning in his poetry; for example, by juxtaposing variable stanzas to accentuate ideas or voices that challenge each other. Milosz's work is known for its complexity; according to the scholars Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, Milosz "prided himself on being an esoteric writer accessible to a mere handful of readers".  Nevertheless, some common themes are readily apparent throughout his body of work. The poet, critic, and frequent Milosz translator Robert Hass has described Milosz as "a poet of great inclusiveness",  with a fidelity to capturing life in all of its sensuousness and multiplicities. According to Hass, Milosz's poems can be viewed as "dwelling in contradiction",  where one idea or voice is presented only to be immediately challenged or changed. According to Donald Davie, this allowance for contradictory voices-a shift from the solo lyric voice to a chorus-is among the most important aspects of Milosz's work. The poetic chorus is deployed not just to highlight the complexity of the modern world but also to search for morality, another of Milosz's recurrent themes.
Nathan and Quinn write, "Milosz's work is devoted to unmasking man's fundamental duality; he wants to make his readers admit the contradictory nature of their own experience" because doing so "forces us to assert our preferences as preferences".  That is, it forces readers to make conscious choices, which is the arena of morality. At times, Milosz's exploration of morality was explicit and concrete, such as when, in The Captive Mind, he ponders the right way to respond to three Lithuanian women who were forcibly moved to a Russian communal farm and wrote to him for help,  or when, in the poems "Campo Dei Fiori" and "A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto", he addresses survivor's guilt and the morality of writing about another's suffering.Milosz's exploration of morality takes place in the context of history, and confrontation with history is another of his major themes. Vendler wrote, "for Milosz, the person is irrevocably a person in history, and the interchange between external event and the individual life is the matrix of poetry".  Having experienced both Nazism and Stalinism, Milosz was particularly concerned with the notion of "historical necessity", which, in the 20th century, was used to justify human suffering on a previously unheard-of scale. Yet Milosz did not reject the concept entirely. Nathan and Quinn summarize Milosz's appraisal of historical necessity as it appears in his essay collection Views from San Francisco Bay: Some species rise, others fall, as do human families, nations, and whole civilizations. There may well be an internal logic to these transformations, a logic that when viewed from sufficient distance has its own elegance, harmony, and grace. Our reason tempts us to be enthralled by this superhuman splendor; but when so enthralled we find it difficult to remember, except perhaps as an element in an abstract calculus, the millions of individuals, the millions upon millions, who unwillingly paid for this splendor with pain and blood.
Milosz's willingness to accept a form of logic in history points to another recurrent aspect of his writing: his capacity for wonder, amazement, and, ultimately, faith-not always religious faith, but "faith in the objective reality of a world to be known by the human mind but not constituted by that mind".  At other times, Milosz was more explicitly religious in his work. According to scholar and translator Michael Parker, "crucial to any understanding of Milosz's work is his complex relationship to Catholicism".  His writing is filled with allusions to Christian figures, symbols, and theological ideas, though Milosz was closer to Gnosticism, or what he called Manichaeism, in his personal beliefs, viewing the universe as ruled by an evil whose influence human beings must try to escape. From this perspective, he can at once admit that the world is ruled by necessity, by evil, and yet still find hope and sustenance in the beauty of the world.History reveals the pointlessness of human striving, the instability of human things; but time also is the moving image of eternity. Milosz had numerous literary and intellectual influences, although scholars of his work-and Milosz himself, in his writings-have identified the following as significant: Oscar Milosz (who inspired Milosz's interest in the metaphysical) and, through him, Emanuel Swedenborg; Lev Shestov; Simone Weil (whose work Milosz translated into Polish); Dostoevsky; William Blake (whose concept of "Ulro" Milosz borrowed for his book The Land of Ulro), and Eliot. 1933: Poemat o czasie zastyglym (A Poem on Frozen Time); Wilno: Kolo Polonistów Sluchaczy Uniwersytetu Stefana Batorego. 1936: Trzy zimy (Three Winters); Warsaw: Wladyslawa Mortkowicz. 1940: Wiersze (Poems); Warsaw (clandestine publication). 1945: Ocalenie (Rescue); Warsaw: Spóldzielnia Wydawnicza Czytelnik. 1954: Swiatlo dzienne (Daylight); Paris: Instytut Literacki.
1957: Traktat poetycki (A Treatise on Poetry); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1962: Król Popiel i inne wiersze (King Popiel and Other Poems); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1965: Gucio zaczarowany (Gucio Enchanted); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1969: Miasto bez imienia (City Without a Name); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1974: Gdzie slonce wschodzi i kedy zapada (Where the Sun Rises and Where it Sets); Paris: Instytut Literacki.
1982: Hymn o Perle (Hymn of the Pearl); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1984: Nieobjeta ziemia (Unattainable Earth); Paris: Instytut Literacki.
1989: Kroniki (Chronicles); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1991: Dalsze okolice (Farther Surroundings); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak.
1994: Na brzegu rzeki (Facing the River); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 1997: Piesek przydrozny (Roadside Dog); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak.2000: To (This), Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 2002: Druga przestrzen (The Second Space); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 2003: Orfeusz i Eurydyka (Orpheus and Eurydice); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. 2006: Wiersze ostatnie (Last Poems) Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 1953: Zniewolony umysl (The Captive Mind); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1959: Rodzinna Europa (Native Realm); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1969: The History of Polish Literature; London-New York: MacMillan. 1969: Widzenia nad Zatoka San Francisco (A View of San Francisco Bay); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1974: Prywatne obowiazki (Private Obligations); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1976: Emperor of the Earth; Berkeley: University of California Press.
1977: Ziemia Ulro (The Land of Ulro); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1979: Ogród Nauk (The Garden of Science); Paris: Instytut Literacki.
1981: Nobel Lecture; New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 1983: The Witness of Poetry; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
1985: Zaczynajac od moich ulic (Starting from My Streets); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1986: A mi Európánkról (About our Europe); New York: Hill and Wang.
1989: Rok mysliwego (A year of the hunter); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1992: Szukanie ojczyzny (In Search of a Homeland); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak.1995: Metafizyczna pauza (The Metaphysical Pause); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 1996: Legendy nowoczesnosci (Modern Legends, War Essays); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie.
1997: Zycie na wyspach (Life on Islands); Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 1997: Abecadlo Milosza (Milosz's ABC's); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie.
1998: Inne Abecadlo (A Further Alphabet); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. 1999: Wyprawa w dwudziestolecie (An Excursion through the Twenties and Thirties); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. 2004: Spizarnia literacka (A Literary Larder); Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. 2004: Przygody mlodego umyslu; Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak.
2004: O podrózach w czasie; (On time travel) Kraków: Spoleczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak. 1955: Zdobycie wladzy (The Seizure of Power); Paris: Instytut Literacki.
1955: Dolina Issy (The Issa Valley); Paris: Instytut Literacki. 1987: The Mountains of Parnassus; Yale University Press.
1968: Selected Poems by Zbigniew Herbert translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott, Penguin Books. 1996: Talking to My Body by Anna Swir translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan, Copper Canyon Press.
List of Polish Nobel laureates. It is unclear when Milosz obtained Polish citizenship. He claimed to have received a Lithuanian identity document in 1940, in which he wrote his nationality as Polish, but there is no official record to confirm what type of identity document he used during World War II.
Franaszek claims Milosz became an American citizen in 1962.  Haven claims he became an American citizen in 1970. Milosz maintained dual citizenship (Poland and USA) beginning in 1995. There is evidence that Milosz and Janina obtained a civil marriage certificate in Warsaw in 1944. World War II had separated Janina from her first husband, who was in London.This prevented them from obtaining a divorce, and they remained legally married. Milosz and Janina had a church-sanctioned wedding in France in 1956 after her first husband died. Czeslaw may be pronounced /'t?? F/ in American English, /'t??
Czeslaw Milosz ranks among the most respected figures in 20th-century Polish literature, as well as one of the most respected contemporary poets in the world: he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. Born in Lithuania, where his parents moved temporarily to escape the political upheaval in their native Poland, he left Poland as an adult due to the oppressive Communist regime that came to power following World War II and lived in the United States from 1960 until his death in 2004.Milosz's poems, novels, essays, and other works are written in his native Polish and translated by the author and others into English. Having lived under the two great totalitarian systems of modern history, national socialism and communism, Milosz wrote of the past in a tragic, ironic style that nonetheless affirmed the value of human life. While the faith of his Roman Catholic upbringing was severely tested, it remained intact. Terrence Des Pres, writing in the Nation, stated that political catastrophe has defined the nature of our [age], and the result-the collision of personal and public realms-has produced a new kind of writer. Czeslaw Milosz is the perfect example.
In exile from a world which no longer exists, a witness to the Nazi devastation of Poland and the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe, Milosz deals in his poetry with the central issues of our time: the impact of history upon moral being, the search for ways to survive spiritual ruin in a ruined world. Born in Lithuania in 1911, Milosz spent much of his childhood in Czarist Russia, where his father worked as a civil engineer. He published his first collection of poems, Poemat o czasie zastyglym ("Poem of the Frozen Time"), at the age of 21.
Milosz was associated with the catastrophist school of poets during the 1930s. The writings of this group of poets ominously foreshadowed World War II; when the war began in 1939, and Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Milosz worked with the underground Resistance movement in Warsaw, writing and editing several books published clandestinely during the occupation. One of these books, a collection titled Wiersze ("Poems"), was published under the pseudonym J. Following the war, Milosz became a member of the new communist government's diplomatic service and was stationed in Paris, France, as a cultural attaché. In 1951, he left this post and defected to the West.
The Captive Mind (1953), his first collection of essays, explains Milosz's reasons for defecting and examines the life of the artist under a communist regime. Karl Jaspers, in an article for the Saturday Review, described The Captive Mind as a significant historical document and analysis of the highest order. In astonishing gradations Milosz shows what happens to men subjected simultaneously to constant threat of annihilation and to the promptings of faith in a historical necessity which exerts apparently irresistible force and achieves enormous success. We are presented with a vivid picture of the forms of concealment, of inner transformation, of the sudden bolt to conversion, of the cleavage of man into two.Milosz defected when he was recalled to Poland from his position at the Polish embassy. Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post quoted Milosz explaining: I knew perfectly well that my country was becoming the province of an empire. " In a speech before the Congress for Cultural Freedom, quoted by James Atlas of the New York Times, Milosz declared: "I have rejected the new faith because the practice of the lie is one of its principal commandments and socialist realism is nothing more than a different name for a lie. After his defection Milosz lived in Paris, where he worked as a translator and freelance writer.
In 1960 he was offered a teaching position at the University of California, Berkeley, which he accepted. He became an American citizen in 1970. In The Seizure of Power, first published in France as La Prise du pouvoir in 1953, Milosz renders as fiction much of the same material found in The Captive Mind. The book is an autobiographical novel that begins with the Russian occupation of Warsaw at the close of World War II. The novel ends with the disillusioned protagonist, a political education officer for the communists, immigrating to the West.
After living in the United States for a time, Milosz began to write of his new home. In Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition (1968) and Visions from San Francisco Bay (1982), Milosz compares and contrasts the West with his native Poland. Native Realm, Richard Holmes wrote in the London Times, is a political and social autobiography, shorn of polemic intent, deeply self-questioning, and dominated by the sense that neither historically nor metaphysically are most Westerners in a position to grasp the true nature of the East European experience since the First War. In Visions from San Francisco Bay Milosz examines his life in contemporary California, a place far removed in distance and temperament from the scenes of his earlier life.His observations are often sardonic, and yet he is also content with his new home. "The intention, " noted Julian Symons in the Times Literary Supplement, is to understand himself, to understand the United States, to communicate something singular to Czeslaw Milosz. " Although Milosz's comments about life in California could be oblique and arch, "underlying all his meditations, " commented Leon Edel in the New York Times Book Review, "is his constant'amazement' that America should exist in this world-and his gratitude that it does exist. The story of Milosz's odyssey from East to West is also recounted in his poetry. Milosz's "entire effort, " Jonathan Galassi explained in the New York Times Book Review, is directed toward a confrontation with experience-and not with personal experience alone, but with history in all its paradoxical horror and wonder. Speaking of his poetry in the essay collection The Witness of Poetry (1983), Milosz stresses the importance of his nation's cultural heritage and history in shaping his work. "My corner of Europe, " he states, owing to the extraordinary and lethal events that have been occurring there, comparable only to violent earthquakes, affords a peculiar perspective. As a result, all of us who come from those parts appraise poetry slightly differently than do the majority of my audience, for we tend to view it as a witness and participant in one of mankind's major transformations. " "For Milosz, " Helen Vendler explained in the New Yorker, "the person is irrevocably a person in history, and the interchange between external event and the individual life is the matrix of poetry. Milosz articulated a fundamental difference in the role of poetry in the capitalist West and the communist East.
Western poetry, as Alfred Kazin wrote in the New York Times Book Review, is'alienated' poetry, full of introspective anxiety. But because of the dictatorial nature of communist government, poets in the East cannot afford to be preoccupied with themselves. They are drawn to write of the larger problems of their society."A peculiar fusion of the individual and the historical took place, " Milosz wrote in The Witness of Poetry, which means that events burdening a whole community are perceived by a poet as touching him in a most personal manner. Then poetry is no longer alienated. For many years Milosz's poetry was little noticed in the United States, though he was highly regarded in Poland. Recognition in Poland came in defiance of official government resistance to Milosz's work. The communist regime refused to publish the books of a defector; for many years only underground editions of his poems were secretly printed and circulated in Poland. But in 1980, when Milosz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the communist government was forced to relent. One sign of Milosz's widespread popularity in Poland occurred when Polish workers in Gdansk unveiled a monument to their comrades who were shot down by the communist police. Two quotations were inscribed on the monument: one was taken from the Bible; the other was taken from a poem by Milosz.
The Nobel Prize also brought Milosz to the attention of a wider audience in the United States. After 1980 several of his earlier works were translated into English, while his new books received widespread critical attention. Some of this public attention focused less on Milosz's work as poetry than "as the work of a thinker and political figure; the poems tend to be considered en masse, in relation either to the condition of Poland, or to the suppression of dissident literature under Communist rule, or to the larger topic of European intellectual history, " as Vendler maintained. But most reviewers have commented on Milosz's ability to speak in a personal voice that carries with it the echoes of his people's history. Critic Paul Zweig explained that Milosz offers a modest voice, speaking an old language.But this language contains the resources of centuries. Speaking it, one speaks with a voice more than personal.
Milosz's power lies in his ability to speak with this larger voice without diminishing the urgency that drives his words. Because he lived through some of the great upheavals of 20th-century Eastern Europe, and because his poetry fuses his own experiences with the larger events in his society, many of Milosz's poems concern loss, destruction, and despair. Milosz believed that one of the major problems of contemporary society-in both the East and the West-is its lack of a moral foundation. Writing in The Land of Ulro, he finds that modern man has only the starry sky above, and no moral law within. Because of his moral vision Milosz's writings make strong statements, some of which are inherently political in their implications."The act of writing a poem is an act of faith, " Milosz claimed in The History of Polish Literature (1969; 1983), yet if the screams of the tortured are audible in the poet's room, is not his activity an offense to human suffering? Yet Milosz also warned of the dangers of political writing. In a PEN Congress talk reprinted in the Partisan Review, he stated: In this century a basic stance of writers.
Seems to be an acute awareness of suffering inflicted upon human beings by unjust structures of society. This awareness of suffering makes a writer open to the idea of radical change, whichever of many recipes he chooses. Innumerable millions of human beings were killed in this century in the name of utopia-either progressive or reactionary, and always there were writers who provided convincing justifications for massacre. In The Witness of Poetry Milosz argues that true poetry is the passionate pursuit of the Real. " He condemns those writers who favor art for art's sake or who think of themselves as alienated, and suggests, as Adam Gussow wrote in the Saturday Review, that poets may have "grown afraid of reality, afraid to see it clearly and speak about it in words we can all comprehend." What is needed in "today's unsettled world, " Gussow explained, are poets who, "like Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare, will speak for rather than against the enduring values of their communities. Many critics noted his concern for a poetry that confronts reality.
With the publication in 1986 of Unattainable Earth, Milosz continued to show himself as a poet of memory and a poet of witness, for, in the prose footnote to "Poet at Seventy, " he wrote of his continued un-named need for order, for rhythm, for form, which three words are opposed to chaos and nothingness. The book was the first of several lauded collaborative translations between the author and American poet Robert Hass. The book contains 180 poems ranging in size from two lines to 60 pages.
45 poems appear for the first time in English, of which 26 were recently translated older poems and 20 new poems. New York Times Book Review contributor Edward Hirsch found the volume one of the monumental splendors of poetry in our age. " Baranczak believed that it is a book that can "finally give the English-speaking reader a fairly accurate idea of what [Milosz's] poetry really is, both in the sense of the largeness of its thematic and stylistic range and the uniqueness of his more than half-century-long creative evolution. For Milosz, the life in each individual seems made up of provinces, and one new province which he must now visit is the province of old age.He explores getting older in the 13-part sequence titled, "A New Province, " reporting that, not much is known about that country / Till we land there ourselves, with no right to return. " Hirsch found that these poems about old age have "a penetrating honesty" derived from "a powerful dialectical tension, a metaphysical dispute at work. About the conflicting claims of immanence and transcendence, the temporal and the eternal. In the 1990s, Milosz also published a series of books of essays and occasional pieces, including Beginning with My Streets: Essays and Recollections, published in 1992, which closes with his 1980 Nobel lecture, and A Year of the Hunter, published in 1994, a journal Milosz penned between August of 1987 and August of 1988. In 1995 Milosz published the poetry collection Facing the River: New Poems. This volume includes verse that deals largely with Milosz's return to Vilnius, the city of his childhood, now the capital of the free republic of Lithuania. Facing the River is not just about Milosz's return to Lithuania and the people that he misses; it also addresses the poet's accomplishments and his views on life.
In "At a Certain Age, " Milosz declares that old men, who see themselves as handsome and noble, will find: later in our place an ugly toad / Half-opens its thick eyelid / And one sees clearly:'That's me. " In 1999, at age 88, Milosz published Roadside Dog, a collection "that at first encounter seems an invitation to revisit the remembered landscapes of his life, as Jaroslaw Anders noted in the New Republic. In "maxims, anecdotes, meditations, crumbs of worldly wisdom, introspections. [and] poems, " Milosz takes readers on a trip through the sounds and images that have shaped his life as a poet. Milosz remained active even as he advanced into his nineties.In 2001 he published Milosz's ABCs, a brief, alphabetical collection of entries illustrating his experiences and view on life. And that year, Milosz published a translation of a work first published in 1957 in his native language: A Treatise on Poetry. This lengthy poetic work has four parts which ponder Europe at the turn of the 20th century, Poland between the two world wars that devastated it, World War II, and the proper place of the poet in the world after the horror of World War II. It also serves as an historical survey of Polish poetry throughout those periods. It is a work that is "gripping, profound and beautiful, " according to a writer for the Economist. Translated nearly 50 years after it was written, A Treatise on Poetry found an audience among a new generation of readers. Nicholas Wroe quoted Milosz in the Guardian as commenting: It has been a great pleasure to see my poem apparently not getting old. It is really a history of Polish poetry in the 20th century, in connection to history and the problems of so-called historical necessity.
They have such short memories. The essays also form a kind of autobiography, beginning with an account of the poet's life on his grandparents' farm in Lithuania and proceeding on through the tumultuous decades that followed. Milosz has frequently been pointed out as rather unusual in that he maintained his Catholic faith even through the horrors of two World Wars; many intellectuals who survived that time subsequently suffered crises of faith from which they never recovered. "Milosz's work is something so extraordinary in our epoch, that it seems to be a phenomenon that he has appeared on the surface of contemporary art from the mysterious depths of reality, " declared Krzysztof Dybciak in World Literature Today.
At a time when voices of doubt, deadness, and despair are the loudest; when writers are outstripping each other in negation of man, his culture, and nature; when the predominant action is destruction. The world built by the author of'Daylight' creates a space in which one can breathe freely, where one can find rescue.
It renders the world of surfaces transparent and condenses being. It does not promise any final solutions to the unleashed elements of nature and history here on earth, but it enlarges the space in which one can await the Coming with hope. Milosz does not believe in the omnipotence of man, and he has been deprived of the optimistic faith in the self-sufficiency of a world known only through empirical experience.
He leads the reader to a place where one can see-to paraphrase the poet's own formula regarding time-Being raised above being through Being. Milosz died in Krakow, Poland in 2004. In 2011, Yale University held the "Milosz and America" conference at the Beinecke Library, where Milosz's papers are held.
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