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Disenchanted Europeans

Polish Émigré Writers from Kultura and Postwar Reformulations of the West


Łukasz Mikołajewski

As Europe experienced tumultuous change after the Second World War, two Polish exiles, Jerzy Stempowski (1893–1969) and Andrzej Bobkowski (1913–1961), discussed and redefined their ideas of the continent in the pages of Kultura, the Polish émigré review. Highlighting the changes in their writings about «the West», «the East» and «civilization», this book pieces together the evolution of their own self-understanding as Europeans, the overlooked shifts of accents along with silences and falsifications. By following these two writers’ accounts of the events that led them from Poland and Ukraine to France, West Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America, this study shows the tension between changing discourses and individual lives, between the wider concept of Europe and the experience of exile, emigration and belonging.

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