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The Rambler :: blog

Sunday, August 15, 2004

A tremendous loss 

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RIP Czeslaw Milosz. One of the great writers of his time. Dolina, his pastoral novel of 1955 (trans. 1978 as The Issa Valley) was one of my favourite reads of last year, and certainly one of the most beautiful books I've read in a while. What most impressed me about it was that unlike Milosz's more polemic, political essays it portrayed an idyllic, magical Polish countryside as seen through boyhood eyes. Unlike the standard portayal of Polish life as defined by Soviet tanks, heroic uprisings, flattened cities and samizdat literature, here was a Poland described through its trees, rivers, soil and harvests. A moving and still refreshing book.

Obituaries published so far (might require registration):

LA Times

New York Times

Independent

Chicago Tribune


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