Four Decades of Polish Essays

Jan Kott, Editor, Jan Kott, Other Northwestern University Press $64.95 (403p) ISBN 978-0-8101-0862-2
This collection, remarkable in its depth and diversity, offers a fine sampling of the writings (many appearing in English for the first time) by distinguished Polish authors, artists and philosophers, some still living in their native land, others emigres. Kott's ( Shakespeare Our Contemporary ) selections range beyond uniquely Polish concerns, from a sympathetic look at Hasidism to the relevance of St. Augustine for the modern world. Aleksander Wat remembers the spiritual strength he drew from books when incarcerated in Lubyanka Prison, and Jerzy Lec devises a list of barbed aphorisms (``Illiterates have to dictate''). Art critic K. A. Jelenski relates how Russian political and artistic radicals parted ways after the revolution. There is an autobiographical piece from science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem and poet Czeslaw Milosz's Nobel Prize acceptance speech. In a powerful essay, Jan Blonsky shows the necessity and complexity of looking at Polish responsiblity in the genocide of Eastern European Jewry. For the reflective reader, this volume holds many challenges and rewards. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 403 pages - 978-0-8101-0863-9
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