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I'm very glad that I got back to this book and reread it after so many years. It's still very up to date and prophetic in many ways.
In one of the more inane projects of library school, I had to prepare an index for an index-less book. For some reason I didn't do Nabokov's Strong Opinions, an index to which I actually need. I was reading this at the time and figured why not. After starting the assignment I found myself in the very deep waters of cental european historical geography, drowning in Polish and Lithuanian place names. The assignment didn't blight my budding affection for the book. Milosz, like Brodsky, has become a [...]
Visa kas tikrai svarbu, jiems buvo per sunku. Jais nusikračiau labai lengvai: tegul numirėliai laidoja savo numirėlius.Biurokrato profesija gal ir labai reikalinga, tačiau netrukus susiklostė šiokios tokios vėliau pasitvirtinusios išvados. Tai profesija parazito, kuriam užmoka ne už tai, ką jis veikia, bet už tai, kad nuo ryto iki vakaro sėdi viename ar kitame kambaryje, už vieno ar kito stalo. Kas mėnesį gauna atlyginimą, kuris niekaip neatitinka jo veiklos rezultatų, o tik vi [...]
"Può darsi che in questa mia descrizione del viaggio qualcuno possa trovare un distacco eccessivo, come se lo sforzo fisico d'una intera notte passata nell'acqua delle torbiere non mi avesse riguardato personalmente, oppure come se non avessi sentito il bruciore delle guance schiaffeggiate dall'ufficiale della Gestapo. Non credo però che questa distanza sia opera del tempo . Le forti emozioni o il gemito strappato dallo sforzo non mutavano la mia indifferenza, che era piuttosto la sensibilit [...]
A terse history of Northeastern Europe--told as if philosophy and poetry mattered, were not just additions to real life, but life itself. I see nothing wrong with that. I should add that the contempt for the soft sciences (or any liberal art) necessarily elevates the hard--so we're stuck in the maths as a principle. Nature may obey the sovereignty of logic--culture clearly does not. Milosz's nuance and breadth of learning demand a great deal of attention from the reader. It's easy to glance at l [...]
A brilliant man who lived an incredible life. His poetic writing makes you believe every word and makes you feel like you're with him every step of the way. "In a certain sense I can consider myself a typical Eastern European. It seems to be true that this differentia specifica can be boiled down to a lack of from-both inner and outer. His good qualities-intellectual avidity, fervor in discussion, a sense of irony, freshness of feeling, spatial (or geographical) fantasy- derive from a basic weak [...]
I never wanted this book to end. It is a memoir told as social history, written by one of the greatest poets of our time. You get the feeling that Milosz has witnessed everything, that he has absorbed it all, and what he has chosen to tell us has had to pass through the dry flame of his intellect. Considering the time and place that this book comes from (Eastern Europe, World War II) it could be full of melodrama and sentimentality--but it is lacking in either. You get the feeling that Milosz ha [...]
For me this was a five star reading experience. Although he might have preferred a less interesting life, he experienced first-hand some of the momentous events of the 20th century. Perhaps it was the influence of the dialectic, but for much of his life he seemed to be looking for a middle ground (a synthesis?) that perhaps didn't exist. Politically, he aligned himself with Marxism but philosophically he had reservations. Although eventually defected from Communist Poland, he didn't wax nostalgi [...]
This man is absolutely an old-world intellectual of the highest order. He claims to be mysterious at times, but never enough to defend himself when it comes to that, and his experiences and insights have all the clarity of being fully lived.As a man he was likely more passive than active in person, a bit proud, a little ridiculous and utterly, even self-destructively dedicated to his art.It makes little difference, but I wonder in passing if he remained somehow a communist after a decade of work [...]
Puiki knyga! Nenuostabu kad XXa. ją rekomendavo perskaityti vakariečiams diplomatams, vykstantiem į Rytų Europos šalis (o gal čia PRas haha). Įdomu, kad Česlovas įpina XX-to amžiaus Europos istorinį kontekstą į savo labai asmeniniškų patirčių pasakojimus (pvz. kaip leidosi Reino upe ir nuskandino kuprinę su dviejų draugų pasais ir pinigais). Puikiai subalansuota.Akis labiausiai džiaugėsi užkliuvusi už tam tikrų momentų:APIE FORMOS NEBUVIMĄ kaip neatskiriamą rytų euro [...]
"Nel mormorio dell’oceano c’è sempre il sapore del nulla. Conviene, dunque, cercare di afferrare il breve tempo umano." (p. 57)"Tutti […] aneliamo ingenuamente a un punto sulla terra in cui risiede la più elevata saggezza accessibile in un dato momento all’umanità, e ci costa fatica ammettere che un tal luogo non esiste e che dipendiamo soltanto da noi stessi." (p. 337)
An interesting book, very insightful in what regards Poland's recent history and subjects as nationalities and the ideologies and day-to-day living during the Cold War. I did not always agree with the somewhat aristocratic points of view of the author, but his is a lucid voice, and always pleasant to read. All in all, a very good book.
WOW!! Sono riuscita a finirlo. Mi faccio pat-pat sulla spalla da solaAllora. Come sono arrivata a Czesław Miłosz? Beh, tanti, tanti anni fa frequentai un corso di Storia dei Paesi dell'Europa Orientale all'uni di UD tenuto dal mitico prof. Gianluca Volpi. Tra i libri per l'esame si poteva scegliere tra tre tomi: Danubio, Czesław Miłosz e un altro che non mi sovviene al momento. Andai dal mio librario di fiducia che sa che - sotto sotto - io e i classici non andiamo tanto d'accordo, e gli chi [...]
Each time I read Milosz I am reminded anew and catch my breath again at the power of his writing. I think many writers compose and publish because they are compelled to proclaim their answers, what they understand about the world. I am so drawn to Milosz because he writes about what he does not understand and precisely because he does not understand "If I am not wise, then why must I pretend to be? If I am lost, why must I pretend to have ready counsel for my contemporaries?And when the air is f [...]
As an Eastern-European myself, this book touched me deeply. Czeslaw Milosz describes the destruction of this part of Europe, it's cities, it's people, it's intelligence and moreover - it's dignity. He does not describe so much the events themselves as he does the characters. He thus opens up the Polish-Lithuanian conflict, the Jewish concern, the everlasting confrontation with the big brother from the East, and the pre and war time attitude of Germans towards Poles through the stories and faith [...]
I got this book when it was first published, but did not finish it. Last spring I picked it up once again, this time in anticipation of an upcoming first visit to the native realm of my paternal grandparents, Lithuania. I found it good preparation for my visit. Milosz's memoir is a moving, poetical window into the lost world he and my ancestors once inhabited. He well captures the cultural turmoil and political violence that ravaged that region in the first part of the 20th century--in a very pe [...]
Meer een essayistische verhandeling over hoe het is om in Polen/Litouwen te zijn geboren en te hebben geleefd in de eerste helft van de twintigste eeuw dan een echte autobiografie. De toon is analytisch, de schrijver behandelt veel achtergronden en er is relatief weinig sprake van (uitgebreide) herinneringen.Milosz' punt is vooral dat Westerlingen zich niet kunnen voorstellen hoe het in Oost-Europa écht is en hij houdt een vurig pleidooi voor de diepte van de Oost-Europese intellectueel. Droog [...]
Sunku ir apibūdinti tokią stiprią, įtaigią ir ganėtinai atvirą knygą (nors Milošas ir ginasi, kad tai ne autobiografija, o tiesiog bandymas į save pažvelgti iš tam tikro atstumo).Kas yra Rytų Europietis? Lenkas emigrantas pokaryje? Kaip susipažįstama su pasauliu ir kaip pasaulis tave priima? Daug gilių egzistencinių klausimų yra aptariama šiame esė rinkinyje. Vietomis galima su p. Česlovu nesutikti, vietomis juo gėrėtis, bet daugelyje atvejų sunku nesižavėti jo intelekt [...]
A wonderful book. "Poetic discipline is impossible without piety and admiration, without faith in the infinite layers of being that are hidden within an apple, a man, or a tree; it challenges one through becoming to move closer to what is.""I was convinced that as long as we live, we must lift ourselves over new thresholds of consciousness; that to aim at higher and higher thresholds is our only happiness."
Though laced with politics and philosophy that at times went over my head, this translation read smoothly. An overall interesting account of a man in-tune with his surroundings and armed with a gifted ability to engagingly communicate its impact on himself and others.
An engaging journey to our roots as Europeans.
Love, love, love him.
His poetry is beautiful, wonderful, essential. This memoir is not.
lo trovo uno dei libri piú intelligenti del XX secolo (scusate l'iperbole). Tra Lituania e Polonia Milosz traccia una storia che è allo stesso tempo personalissima ed universale
Interesting bit of auto-biography. There's a reason this guy won the Nobel prize.
it looks interesting