The Captive Mind has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: Beginning with Hitler and Nazi Germany in up until the fall of the Soviet Union in. The Captive Mind (Polish: Zniewolony umysł) is a work of nonfiction by Polish writer, academic and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz, published in the. The best known prose work by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and.

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The surviving members of the Polish underground were immediately rhe. I was in constant correspondence with good friends in Paris, as my friendships were based upon my poetry. Witkacy’s novel is a horrifyingly accurate parable of the future fate of all eastern Europe – upon learning that the Red Army has entered Poland he committed suicide, on the 18th of March That this is done at the hands of communism is an irony Milosz alludes to fhe the first chapter, that of dialectics predicting a house fire while reaching for the gasoline.

In his poetry, particularly his autobiographical works, his depictions of an idealised and peaceful homeland provided solace to a nation mulosz in an uncertain world under foreign domination. For a time I had a hope that things would develop as I wanted, but, in fact, for countries such as Poland and Hungary, that initial period was just an introductory period of Stalinisation.

The Captive Mind – by Czeslaw Milosz: A Book Review | Joel D. Hirst’s Blog

What Czeslaw Milosz has to say about Tadeusz Borowsk and concentration camps is penetrating, one of the most cative pieces of writing I’ve come across, ever. Official connivance has long been suspected in his escape, but for many years Milosz has been reluctant to discuss the details. However, as soon as he got into his writer friends, I just couldn’t keep up.

The book closes with a pair of chapters examining Man as the enemy of Historical Necessity, via the smoldering embers of hope, faith and creativity that refused to be stamped out, and the fate of the Baltic nations as a microcosm of all that was wrong, and perhaps doomed, in the New Faith and its self-contradictory Method.


So in execution, this book is intended in critique of Stalinism, but never so far as to drive Milosz into the arms of nationalism. While they are presented as individuated, personal characters, the reader gets the feeling that Milosz is to turn them into archetypes while at other times working deliberately against this, which has an odd way of turning them into alienating abstractions for the reader.

Jul 31, Sue rated it did not like it Shelves: The Captive Mind drives home the tremendous impact philosophy and ideology have on everyday life. The villages and everything there were destroyed. Milosz has one younger brother, Andrzej, who now lives in Warsaw. During the same time, his name was largely ignored by the government-censored media and publications in Poland. It would have se Although this book makes several good and relevant points in the common aspects declining civilizations share ours includedwhich lead to the totalitarian demagoguery that eventually rules them.

E il fascismo significa guerra, camere a gas e forni crematori. This precedence of ideology over truth and the calling out and doxing of those who disagree falls right in line with The Method describe by Milosz in The Captive Mind.

Does Milosz’ book remain relevant after the fall of the Berlin Wall? He borrows the middle eastern concept of Kitman, which he calls Ketman – meaning “secrecy” in Arabic, it is public display of faith and renunciation of personal views, for which one will be persecuted.

This was a misunderstanding because my poetry was unknown.

The Captive Mind

Jun 16, Aubrey rated it it was ok Recommended to Aubrey by: All this czesaw after Milosz had left Szetejnie, and he remembers his childhood there, returning after the chaos of war and the revolution, as an idyllic period. The constraints placed on politicians and policemen by the rule of law struck them as incomprehensible and inferior to the police states of the Communist world.


He exploited his miosz matter too soon, his composition was too smooth. Retrieved from ” https: However, in he defected and obtained political asylum in France.

If it cannot, it is worthless. Even though this as described as an “anti-communist” book, it’s far more than that– it’s a plea against totalitarianism of all kinds, not for the usual things human rights violations, etc. A man may persuade himself, by the czeslxw logical reasoning, that he will greatly benefit his health by swallowing live frogs; and, thus rationally convinced, he may swallow a first frog, then the second; but at the third his stomach will revolt.

A century’s witness

I happened to pick this book up on the way to th The context in which I read this book was exceptionally perfect. The following excerpt illustrates the miilosz Milosz brings a poet’s eye and sensibility to extreme experiences: Unlike back in their home country, the government does not require any adherence to a particular ideology; rather, you can think or believe, write or paint whatever the hell you want.

The following four chapters tie together Ketman with his opening thesis in the examination of a tetrad of fellow Poles: Of course, we see this movie still; from North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba and even the Islamic State — and it always has the same ending. But it is also a story of resistance — of how writers are often able to find th subservience to a great power a modicum of liberty; going beyond cognitive dissonance which is a tool of the totalitarians to mine their work with a tense deferential rebellion.

Should he not, in fact, be ashamed of them? He also takes an indulgent delight in his work still being read by a young readership.