Legends of modernity : essays and letters from occupied Poland, 1942-1943

by Miłosz, Czesław.

Format: Print Book 2005
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PG7158.M553 L4413 2005
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PG7158.M553 L4413 2005
Legends of Modernity, now available in English for the first time, brings together some of Czeslaw Milosz's early essays and letters, composed in German-occupied Warsaw during the winter of 1942-43. Why did the European spirit succumb to such a devastating fiasco? the young Milosz asks. Half a century later, when Legends of Modernity saw its first publication in Poland, Milosz said: If everything inside you is agitation, hatred, and despair, write measured, perfectly calm sentences... While the essays here reflect a perfect calm, the accompanying contemporaneous exchange of letters between Milosz and Jerzy Andrzejewski express the raw emotions of agitation, hatred and despair experienced by these two close friends struggling to understand the proximate causes of this debacle of western civilization, and the relevance, if any, of the teachings of the Catholic church. Passionate, poignant, and compelling, Legends of Modernity is a deeply moving insight into the mind and emotions of one of the greatest writers of our time.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In his landmark 1953 book, The Captive Mind, Nobel-winning poet and essayist Milosz discoursed on the havoc totalitarian rule plays on the mental processes of intellectuals. Here we see Milosz's own mind at work in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, crafting essays of ideas, pursuing a fantastically high-minded correspondence with friend and fellow writer Jerzy Andrzejewski, and developing themes inspired by the works of Defoe, Balzac, Gide, Stendhal and Nietzsche. Call it "The Captive Mind in Action." Curiously, the tension implied by Milosz's situation is hardly evident in the essays: where one might expect his tone to be skittish, fearful, foreboding, the most remarkable aspect is his ability to ensconce his steady authorial voice so l uxuriantly in the unpressing issues of, say, the imaginative projection required today to view Giotto's medieval saints properly. The most interesting essay demonstrating this phlegmatic tone enlists Tolstoy's War and Peace to help Milosz understand the global conflagration of his own time. But anger, bitterness and self-recrimination rage in some of the letters, where he says he thinks of writing a "confession... that would exceed in its violence and scream of pain, [the] Romantic era's settling of accounts of the conscience." For those who hanker for the high seriousness of continental thinkers like Camus, this volume is a welcome beacon from the past. (Oct. 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Miłosz, Czesław -- Correspondence.
Andrzejewski, Jerzy, -- 1909-1983 -- Correspondence.
Miłosz, Czesław -- Translations into English.
Authors, Polish -- 20th century -- Correspondence.
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,2005
Edition 1st American ed.
Other Titles Legendy nowoczesności.
Contributors Andrzejewski, Jerzy, 1909-1983.
Levine, Madeline G.
Language English
Description xvi, 266 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [263]-266).
ISBN 0374184992
Other Classic View