A Year of the Hunter

Czesaw Miosz, Author, Czeslaw Milosz, Author, Madeline Levine, Translator Farrar Straus Giroux $27.5 (294p) ISBN 978-0-374-29344-4
Deeply pessimistic yet oddly invigorating, this diary covering 12 months of Milosz's life in 1987-1988 is a disarmingly candid self-portrait of the Nobel poet, novelist and essayist. Milosz, born in Lithuania in 1911, also recollects the German occupation of Poland during WW II, where he worked as a writer for resistance journals. He articulates his philosophical rejection of both communism and capitalism and voices doubts about his poetry, life's meaning and an afterlife. He mourns the death in 1986 of his wife of nearly 50 years and minutely dissects their relationship. Besides discussing numerous modern Polish poets and novelists, Milosz, professor of Slavic languages and literature at UC Berkeley, offers shrewd comments on an enormous range of writers, from Beckett to Balzac. This lively journal shows Milosz grappling with his thoughts on evil, death, sex, vanity, music and spirituality. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1994
Release date: 09/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
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