Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Milosz: A Biography

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Milosz: A Biography

Article excerpt

Former Soviet Republics: Milosz: A Biography BY ANDRZEJ FRANASZEK. EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY ALEKSANDRA PARKER AND MICHAEL PARKER. Harvard University Press, 2017, 544 pp.

This is the English translation of Franaszek’s fine biography of Czeslaw Milosz, the great Polish poet and 1980 Nobel laureate. Milosz embodied as much as any Pole the spirit, the tortured twentieth-century history, and the artistic sensibility of his country, even though he spent close to 30 years teaching literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Franaszek, with exquisite balance, blends Milosz’s life story with his intellectual and aesthetic journey, enriching both with perfectly chosen fragments from his poetry and other writings. Milosz was born in 1911 to a well-off Lithuanian family, trained as a lawyer, and became a serious poet in his 20s. …

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