Download Emperor of the Earth: Modes of Eccentric Vision by Czeslaw Milosz PDF

By Czeslaw Milosz

This stimulating selection of essays, generally excited by matters taken from Slavic literatures, is instantly scholarly and reflective. the quantity opens with a real tale, "Brognart," that's a confession of the author's regret in response to clash with French intellectuals. "Science Fiction and the arrival of the Antichrist" matters Vladimir Solovyov. "Krasinski's Retreat" is one other go back to the author's scholar readings, which makes an attempt to figure out how a Polish romantic poet may well write in 1833 a drama at the imminent international revolution. "Joseph Conrad's Father" sketches the biography of a poet and progressive and likewise throws a few gentle upon the destiny of the hero of the final bankruptcy.

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Sample text

For me these problems were only the surface, and I blamed myself for not reaching deeper and not presenting myself as I really was. I felt guilty of deception. I had to return to myself, to learn how to outline my own hidden convictions, my own real faith, and through this to pay witness. It's a lot of work and I haven't yet learned how to do it. But since I had already begun, Brognart wasn't of much use because he would have steered me toward questions which were too blatant and which would have screened things more difficult for me and more real.

When he received pocket money from his mother, his greatest pleasure was in buying things for others—if he saw that a friend wanted something, he bought it immediately. Reasonably sociable, he belonged to one organization, the Jeunesse Etudiante Chretienne. Brognart's photographs fit the teacher's report: the pleasant face of a stable teenager. Strong chin, delicately shaped lips, a prominent nose somewhat childlike in its pudginess. A direct gaze, alert, somewhat lyrical. It was exactly, I suppose, his eyes and lips that struck me because they reminded me of the eyes and lips of someone close to me in my family.

The causes they would take up were honorable, guaranteed by the future. Just like those others taken up by Lamennais or Victor Hugo or Zola, who cared about being warmly mentioned by posterity. Since there is no Heaven, let there at least be a heaven of good repute. Besides, there were always plenty of those bustling around Europe who made a profession of anti-Communism to squeeze money out of Americans; they were generally avoided by respectable intellectual company out of fear of catching leprosy.

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