Archive for June 5th, 2011

Praise for An Invisible Rope from the TLS

Sunday, June 5th, 2011
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OK, we’re bragging.  From Wojciech Jajdelski writing in London’s Times Literary Supplement:

In a number of late poems, Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004) pondered his status as the last person alive to remember a particular contemporary who had otherwise left no trace in other people’s thoughts or in the historical record. The old poet’s mind, and now the poem itself, were thus the long-gone individual’s only stay against perfect oblivion. But for Miłosz’s recollection, for example, it would be as if Miss X, with whom he shared a towel after an illicit swim more than half a century ago, had never existed. Miłosz himself is happily in no danger of a similar fate. …

Cynthia L. Haven‘s collection of reminiscences of Miłosz by people of various backgrounds, languages and ages is a welcome contribution to this international effort. It will delight Miłosz’s readers with gossip and add anecdotal texture to his image as a great Polish poet in Californian exile, who made a triumphant return to Cracow in old age. It comes as a surprise to hear of Miłosz’s early interest in structural literary analysis, for instance, the frolics he encouraged at graduate parties in Berkeley, or the quiet pride he took in being able to throw together a meal. The common themes include Miłosz’s roaring laughter and insatiable appetite, enduring desire for literary fame, and sense of loneliness. …