Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Defense of Ardor: Essays” as Want to Read:
A Defense of Ardor: Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Defense of Ardor: Essays

by
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Ardor, inspiration, the soul, the sublime: Such terms have long since fallen from favor among critics and artists alike. In his new collection of essays, Adam Zagajewski continues his efforts to reclaim for art not just the terms but the scanted spiritual dimension of modern human existence that they stake out.

Bringing gravity and grace to his meditations on art, society,
...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 19th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published September 29th 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Defense of Ardor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Defense of Ardor

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 147)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
daniel greeson
As one reads (or should read) W.H. Auden to get a certain feeling for the literature of the 20th century from a Western European perspective, so one should look towards Adam Zagajewski as a prime candidate for an Eastern European one. A Defense of Ardor is a wonderful panoramic view of the intellectual ferment of Poland under Communism, the impact of various authors upon Zagajewski’s intellectual and poetic life, and a guide to reading the other giants of Polish literature of the last generation ...more
Monica
Zagajewski has this way of writing in a fashion where the words just make sense in whatever order he has put them in. In this book of essays, he discusses various things. Writers he has known, reading Nietzsche in communist Poland, reading while on vacation, arguments for poetry. Some essays are more dense than others and take a while to get through, but reading through them, you tend to feel something with every word he's laid on the page.

A Defense of Ardor has given me more of an urge to read
...more
Bekah
A thought-provoking, intellectual look at the pursuit of ardor in life and writing. It challenges readers on their contentment with ordinary life and pushes them toward the pursuit of something higher. There are moments when Zagajewski seems to grow distracted by reflection on the biographical details of his personal heroes, but his point often wins out in the end. Be warned, however: this is no light reading.
Isla McKetta
This is one of those books I want to purchase many copies of and press into the hands of friends. The pages are now littered with annotations and the initials of people to whom I will quote certain passages in letters. Zagajewski writes about his fellow writers and about the way we think and what moves us to create and how. I closed the book after each essay, wanting to wrap myself in his thoughts.
jim
Well, I loved the chaptes on poetry. The book is written for intellectuals and "super-readers." In other words, many people would find it a bit elitist and perhaps out of touch. But if you read a lot and are interested in poetry, then it works rather well.
Michael
I liked this collection of essays on poetry, intellectual Eastern Europe, and the author's encounters with writers and poets - mainly in Poland. It's a thoughtful and interesting collection.
jeff
Nov 13, 2008 jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: essays
An inspiring read. Is it a shame to say that i like his essays more than his poems? Maybe just a bit, but these essays make my chest relax and make me want to read everything. Again.
Hanna
In Polish. Many re-reads ahead of me, that's for sure.
Liz Cook
Liz Cook marked it as to-read
Dec 22, 2014
Jared
Jared marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Chunting Lu
Chunting Lu marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Ellie Lynn
Ellie Lynn marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
Eamonn Barrett
Eamonn Barrett marked it as to-read
Sep 30, 2014
Jerrod
Jerrod marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2014
Steven Chang
Steven Chang marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2014
Karen
Karen marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
Proustitute
Proustitute marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2014
Corey
Corey marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2014
Scottie Leung
Scottie Leung marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2014
Melissa Matthewson
Melissa Matthewson marked it as to-read
May 10, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
69377
Adam Zagajewski is a Polish poet, novelist, translator and essayist. He was awarded the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

The Zagajeski family was expelled from Lwów by the Ukrainians to central Poland in 1945.
In 1982 he emigrated to Paris, but in 2002 he returned to Poland, and resides in Kraków.
His poem "Try To Praise The Mutilated World", printed in The New Yorker, became famou
...more
More about Adam Zagajewski...
Without End: New and Selected Poems Eternal Enemies: Poems Mysticism for Beginners: Poems Unseen Hand: Poems Another Beauty

Share This Book

“Read for yourselves, read for the sake of your inspiration, for the sweet turmoil in your lovely head. But also read against yourselves, read for questioning and impotence, for despair and erudition, read the dry sardonic remarks of cynical philosophers like Cioran or even Carl Schmitt, read newspapers, read those who despise, dismiss or simply ignore poetry and try to understand why they do it. Read your enemies, read those who reinforce your sense of what's evolving in poetry, and also read those whose darkness or malice or madness or greatness you can't understand because only in this way will you grow, outlive yourself, and become what you are.” 17 likes
“Read for yourselves, read for the sake of your inspiration, for the sweet turmoil in your lovely head. But also read against yourselves, read for questioning and impotence, for despair and erudition, read the dry, sardonic remarks of cynical philosophers like Cioran or even Carl Schmitt, read newspapers, read those who despise, dismiss or simply ignore poetry and try to understand why they do it. Read your enemies and your friends, read those who reinforce your sense of what's evolving in poetry, and also read those whose darkness or malice or madness or greatness you can't yet understand because only in this way will you grow, outlive yourself, and become what you are.” 2 likes
More quotes…