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After the Fall

On the Writings of Czesław Miłosz

Series:

Tomasz Garbol

Tomasz Garbol’s book reconstructs Czesław Miłosz’s poetic vision of the world after the Fall. The entry point to this approach is the conviction about the ambivalence of previous interpretations of Miłosz’s works, especially about his bipolar poetic worldview (his intellectual and existential division between pessimism and ecstasy) and his understanding of the consequences of the Fall (reversible or fatalistic). The book is a literary studies take on the relationship between literature and religion. The main direction is that Miłosz’s main need in art comes from his yearning for contact with the meaning of reality, which he seeks in the activity of poetic imagination.

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Miłosz – Mickiewicz – Norwid

Extract

In Treatise on Theology, Miłosz says:

I always liked Mickiewicz, though I didn’t know why.

Then I realized that he was writing in cipher

And that this was a rule of poetry,

The distance between what we know and what we reveal.

In other words, it’s what’s inside the shell that matters.

And it’s all right if readers play with shells.



I have been mocked because of Swedenborg and like nonsense,

For I transgressed the rules of literary fashion.

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