To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays

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Macmillan, Oct 2, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 480 pages
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A comprehensive selection of essays--some never before translated into English--by the Nobel Laureate.

To Begin Where I Am brings together a rich sampling of poet Czeslaw Milosz's prose writings. Spanning more than a half century, from an impassioned essay on human nature, wartime atrocities, and their challenge to ethical beliefs, written in 1942 in the form of a letter to his friend Jerzy Andrzejewski, to brief biographical sketches and poetic prose pieces from the late 1990s, this volume presents Milosz the prose writer in all his multiple, beguiling guises. The incisive, sardonic analyst of the seductive power of communism is also the author of tender, elegiac portraits of friends famous and obscure; the witty commentator on Polish complexes writes lyrically of the California landscape. Two great themes predominate in these essays, several of which have never appeared before in English: Milosz's personal struggle to sustain his religious faith, and his unswerving allegiance to a poetry that is "on the side of man."

 

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TO BEGIN WHERE I AM: Selected Essays

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Prose miscellany by the famed poet and Nobel laureate (Milosz's ABC's, 2000, etc.) proves he does not need funny spacing to dazzle his readers. Spanning more than a half-century of the author's life ... Read full review

To begin where I am: selected essays

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Winner of the Nobel prize in literature in 1980, poet Milosz (Road-Side Dog, Milosz's ABC), has long made the experience of Poland in the past harsh century the keystone of his writing. In this ... Read full review

Contents

My Intention
1
Who Was I?
7
Notes on Exile
13
Happiness
20
Dictionary of Wilno Streets
31
After All
52
On Oscar Milosz
77
The Prioress
85
Pity
178
Letter to Jerzy Andrzejewski
191
Facing Too Large an Expanse
218
To Robinson Jeffers
235
Shestov or the Purity of Despair
261
Dostoevsky
281
If Only This Could Be Said
314
Why Religion?
329

A Story Ibd over a Drink
116
Tiger
142
Zygmunt Hertz
169
From Notebook
433
Index
455
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About the author (2002)

Czeslaw Milosz was awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is a professor, now emeritus, of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent publications are Road-side Dog (FSG, 1998), and Milosz's ABC's (FSG, 2000).

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