Beginning with My Streets:Essays and Recollections

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Polish Wilno--now Vilnius, in Lithuania--was the city of Czeslaw Milosz's youth and adolescence. In this collection of essays and reminiscences, written over a span of three decades, the Nobel Prize-winning poet traces an informal autobiography againstthe street map of an extraordinary city--a crossroads of languages, cultures, and beliefs--that lies at the very heart of his internal geography.

Beginning with My Streets, available for the first time in paperback, gathers portraits of the writers Aleksander Wat, Dwight MacDonald, and Fyodor Dostoevsky, as well as the great Swedish scientist Emanuel Swedenborg; an exchange of letters from the 1950s with the novelist and diarist Witold Gombrowicz; and a selection of speeches delivered between 1967 and 1987, including Milosz's Nobel Lecture. These diffuse reckonings, distinguished throughout by the flavor of personality and the aura of place, have a cumulative power--they are quintessential Milosz.

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2010