My Century: The Odyssey of a Polish Intellectual

Aleksander Wat, Author, Richard Lourie, Translator, Richard Lourie, Photographer University of California Press $50 (0p) ISBN 978-0-520-04425-8
For Wat (1900-1967), Polish futurist poet and man of letters, his ordeal in Polish and Soviet prisons was a time to read Proust and meditate on Bach's Passion ; this Jewish intellectual's soul-searching culminated in his conversion to Christianity in a Russian cell in 1941. His reminiscences are sprinkled with arresting observations on Machiavelli, the sources of poetic inspiration, Doctor Zhivago , Plato, the erotic. They also provide a darkly realistic picture of the various circles of the Stalinist system of hell. Not always easy reading, this collection consists of lightly edited transcripts of interviews with Wat conducted in 1963 by Czeslaw Milosz, who contributes an introductory essay. The early sections offer a shifting panorama of Berlin and Paris in the '20s, of Mayakovsky in Warsaw and Polish dadaism. (September)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 438 pages - 978-0-393-30685-9
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-59017-065-6
Open Ebook - 318 pages - 978-1-59017-542-2
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