The Captive Mind has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: Beginning with Hitler and Nazi Germany in up until the fall of the Soviet Union in. The Captive Mind (Polish: Zniewolony umysł) is a work of nonfiction by Polish writer, academic and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz, published in the. The best known prose work by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and.

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The Captive Mind by Czesław Miłosz

The words are written down, the deed, the date. Thankfully we have the stories of those who have gone before us — written down — to show us the way as they lead with example and nourish our own resistance. That said, he found much of the 60s student radicalism depressingly short-sighted and familiar. The power of the peasants lies in their number; it is a power only when a man like Lenin comes along and throws the weight of their numbers into the scale of events.

Art produced in the service of totalitarian demand can never be aught but propaganda; and if the drab, lifeless prose, the insipid, barren realism of the official Soviet literary and artistic elite was the end demanded by Progressive History, tne raised the unavoidable question of whether such progress should not be halted in its grey-enshrouding tracks. Gamma is Jerzy Putrament, who accepted the new system of his own free will and was rewarded for it with a lucrative position, but was caught in a trap of czfslaw to produce literature – having to live a tragic life, where none of the words he wrote would be his own.

Robert Hass, the former poet laureate of the United States, has been the primary translator of Milosz’s poetry from Polish into English. During the same time, his name was largely ignored by the government-censored media and publications in Poland. Through a succession Published inThe Captive Mind was Milosz’ attempt to explain why intellectuals from the Eastern Bloc countries were willing to tolerate and eventually accept the ‘New Faith’ Stalinism in the post-war years. If it cannot, it is worthless.


View all 17 comments. Feb 26, Michael Perkins rated it it was amazing. To share a more specific taste of Czeslaw Milosz’s extensive reflections on these authors, here are three quotes along with my comments: One ultimately committed suicide. Sep 24, Bryan rated it really liked it Shelves: Before the Second World War, Andrzejewski had been widely admired as the author of Catholic novels and considered himself a follower of Jacques Maritain.

Beginning with Hitler and Nazi Germany in up until the fall of the Soviet Te in counts as one of the most brutal, nightmarish periods in history for such Eastern European countries as Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and Poland.

In this case — jetlagged from a recent overseas trip — I used the solitude tbe early mountain mornings to finish this latest book. And that is evidently the value many have found in this book – despite its moments of sweeping generalisation, characteristic of much writing at that time.

June 25, at 3: It is only through free speech that we defy the totalitarians — because against our pens they are left naked, and they know it. The aura of strength and unhappiness is necessary to demonize western societies.

World Literature Today, Vol. The family belonged to the Polish gentry, but while Milosz was bequeathed their culture, little was left of their wealth by the time he was born. He was also evidently unaware of British popular classics like The Scarlet Pimpernel which certainly did mourn the dead aristos of the French Revolution. This perhaps shouldn’t have been as surprising, but it helped to emphasise, as the novel already does, what a different environment of thought sectarian Northern Ireland was compared with mainland Britain at the same time.

Their resultant lack of imagination is appalling. Granted, this was a stylistic thing in the ’50s, something that writers of all stripes and political persuasions did, and only a few thinkers big ups to Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty! Open Preview See a Problem? They were under direct siege from the Nazis and thousands of lives were lost in the Warsaw Uprising, even as the Soviet troops waited on the outskirts of the city for the combatants to destroy each other.


Ignacy Swieckicki, an engineer now living in Pennsylvania, is a friend from his schooldays and remembers Milosz as “always very busy with poetry and literature. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Milosz also describes how, upon returning to Poland’s capital after the Warsaw Uprisinghe and Andrzejewski walked together through the rubble and ruins of the city.

He exploited his subject matter too soon, his composition was too smooth. After the war, Borowski returned to Poland and, like Andrzejewski, became a propagandist for the ruling Party. In short, this work is kin to A Clockwork Orangealbeit of higher stature and greater insidiousness.

The Captive Mind

View all 22 comments. June 1, at 5: The following excerpt illustrates the way Milosz brings a poet’s eye and sensibility to extreme experiences: As an adult he tne through the wartime Nazi occupation of Warsaw and then the Soviet domination of Poland.

Milosz seems to have been content to occupy this public role in Poland, but Jerzy Jarniewicz says that he may be the last in a line of Polish poets who have acted as a spokesperson for their society. Feb 20, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: Jan 21, Andrew added it Shelves: Despite his doubts, his funeral was exploited for propaganda by the Stalinist Government of Poland.

He was brought milos a Pole, in Lithuania, under Russian tsarist rule, and as czelaw child witnessed the October revolution and the first world war. He has measured the intellectual engagements of these people against all the trends of the 20th century. He attended a lavish evening function attended by most of Poland’s ruling elite.

Also, what exactly is dialectical materialism? I have never been a political writer and I worked czeslwa to destroy this image of myself. Colonization and colonialism figure prominently in the book’s last chapter, devoted to the history of Baltic nations – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Despite having once written Catholic novels, Andrzejewski mindd willingly accepting a position making speeches denouncing The Vatican.