Tag Archives: Czesław Miłosz

Ukraine 2014: undivided but not unprecedented

Two novelists, among many others – not to mention a host of non-novelists – have thrown in their two cents on the situation in Ukraine from two very different points of view. Natalka Sniadanko is a Ukrainian writer and translator (of Kafka, Czesław Miłosz, Olga Tokarczuk and Zbigniew Herbert among others). Writing in the New […]

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Literary roundup: Risky reflections and a transatlantic choice between German and Jewish lit festivals

At  Slovakia’s Project Forum Salon there is a summary of a lengthy interview with Polish novelist, essayist and literary historian Stefan Chwin, who has recently written not only one but two books about Czesław Miłosz, so basically if he’s going to give an interview about him it’s going to be long. Just from the summary […]

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Asymptote and the cause of international writing

In a world where overhyped English-language books playing on a predictable single-note formula (take your pick – 1. Quirky, 2. Topical, 3. Autobiographical) all too often overshadow masterpieces by writers from the wider world, it’s clear that international literature needs its champions. And champions it has, though not that many, and maybe not any who […]

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Literary roundup: Nike winner and new Petra Hůlová

Marek Bieńczyk has won Poland’s top literary award for Książka twarzy (A Book of the Face). The Nike Literary Award (Nagroda Literacka NIKE) has been in existence since 1997 and has had Olga Tokarczuk, Wiesław Myśliwski, Jerzy Pilch and Czesław Miłosz among previous winners. Speaking of Miłosz this year’s Audience Award went to Andrzej Franaszek […]

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Fall Books from a Polish perspective

American literary magazines and blogs have been awash with all the autumn releases – the so-called heavyweights (yawn) and many others of varying merit and interest. For a little perspective it’s interesting to look at Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza’s 20 most interesting fall books, as noted on Slovakia’s Project Forum Salon. Because the list is […]

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Literary roundup: American Miłosz, Azeri satire and Hašek’s other writing

The US consulate in Poland has opened a photography exhibition in the central Polish city of Kielce titled “American Milosz.” The show consists of photographs of the poet Czesław Miłosz while he was living in the US taken by his brother Andrzej Miłosz in Berkeley in the 70s as well as by a Chicago-based Polish […]

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Right turn for the next renaissance – Part II: In nihilism we trust

Part I: where American conservative Charles Murray’s scientific assessment of periods of cultural greatness is held up to a closer scrutiny than he would probably care for. The further Murray’s essay goes on, the more his conditions for cultural greatness fall into a deeper and deeper murkiness. At one point he sets up a hypothetical […]

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Literary roundup: Poets of our mad, transitory world

“To your mad world—one answer: I refuse.” – from new translations by Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine of Marina Tsvetaeva’s “Poems to Czechoslovakia.” The latest issue of Poetry magazine features a number of selections of the work of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. I will soon be writing something about Tsvetaeva’s brief but impactful time living […]

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Literary roundup: Schulz, suffering and soccer in Europe’s borderlands

This year not only will Poland and Ukraine co-host the UEFA European Football Championship, they will also collectively celebrate the 120th anniversary of the birth of Bruno Schulz. This isn’t just a friendly gesture – both countries have some claim on the brilliant writer as his Galician hometown of Drohobycz is in today’s Ukraine and […]

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Literary roundup: Life’s cheerless dance – Szymborska, Joseph Roth and Satantango

Wisława Szymborska died on February 1 and as the remembrances and tributes pour forth a couple of very good ones that have come out in the last few days include Ruth Franklin’s “A Requiem to an Age of Brilliant Polish Poetry” at The New Republic and James Hopkin’s recollection of an interview with the poet […]

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