Some years ago I visited Krasnogruda, the restored manor house of Czeslaw Milosz, close by the Polish–Lithuanian frontier. I was the guest of. The best known prose work by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and. Editions. The Captive Mind . Czeslaw Milosz · Paperback. Buy from Buy from – arrow icon. Hive · Waterstones · Amazon. Written in Paris in the.

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But that destruction will bring no freedom. I had dinner with a friend the other night. We shared stories, exchanged ideas and grumbled a lot about the current political climate and our disappointment in what could have been — what should have been.

He is an intellectual mllosz that special breed of person who seeks to captivve for knowledge sake and is always on the lookout for a fertile mind to share their understanding, right and wrong, without imposition or obligation. As all good intellectuals, my friend does this by carefully selecting books; depositing them before me sort of like stepping stones across a river which has become turbulent. My friend knows I am a writer; and that we share concern for issues of liberty — of the fight against tyranny — as a motivator.

All this to say, what he gives me I read.

The Captive Mind – Wikipedia

Mulosz this case — jetlagged from a recent overseas trip — I used the solitude of early mountain mornings to finish this latest book. Milosz is, of course, the Polish poet and Nobel laureate who lived in Warsaw during that singular time in history when Poland was beset by two great evils; first Nazism and then communism.

An avid anti-fascist, Milosz — like so many intellectuals — made common cause for a time with communist totalitarianism. It is not an indictment, nor is it a justification, of their decisions. It is an explanation of what goes on in the mind of a writer that makes him vulnerable to the overtures of totalitarianism — and how he often builds walls around himself that he is then unable to climb. But it is also a story of resistance — of how writers are often able to find in 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.


For me, it was immensely helpful — as I have often struggled to understand why men who should be of sensitive spirit so often make common cause with the violence. To those within their dominion, they used art to demonstrate that the light would come on the other side of the tremendously brutal horizon.

To those without they used their artists to paint a picture of internal harmony. Of course, we see this movie still; from North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba and even mund Islamic State — and it always has the same ending. Nevertheless, these failed ideas incredibly still find disciples in the modern thought police who are so quick to make exceptions and excuses for czelsaw engaged in totalitarian behaviors — falling back upon ideas of social justice and theories of victimization as excuses.

Free speech is essential, as Milosz explained, because it is uncomfortable.

Because we are insulted. It is only through free speech that we defy the totalitarians — because against our pens they captivw left naked, and they know it. Czeslaw Milosz died in in California. The irony is not lost on me that this is the same year that I began my own fight against totalitarianism first against communism and then Islamism.

And it is the year I began to toy with the idea of also writing down what I was seeing.


The Captive Mind

Life is a cycle, the struggle of one generation to be free is rewarded; just as another czeslad plunged into darkness. Thankfully we have the stories of those who have gone before us — written down — to show us the way as they lead with example and nourish our own resistance.

,ilosz, Ketman and the Bomb Joel D. I am really czesoaw together with your writing talents as neatly as with the format to your weblog. Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Home Meet Joel D. The Captive Mind — by Czeslaw Milosz: Share Facebook Twitter Email.

Hirst is a novelist and a playwright, author of four novels.

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