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Beginning with My Streets: Essays and Recollections

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
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 i ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published February 1st 1992)
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Lawrence
Aug 24, 2012 Lawrence rated it it was amazing
The word here is "idiosyncratic". It describes a great and unique mind.

This book was often hard to understand because I do not know the history of the region in which Mr. M's mind seems always to have been firmly based. It was also often hard to understand because of the density of Mr. M's thinking. However, when he spoke about writing and his way of writing and about other writers, I was drawn in thoroughly.

The transcript of the interview about Dostoevsky and Swedenborg was fascinating, from
...more
Joan Wetherell
Apr 03, 2013 Joan Wetherell rated it really liked it
This is a book I will not exactly "finish." It bears careful reading and rereading, as it is Milosz's musings, many of which are quite unusual for me. I never would have suspected that there was such a divide and even antipathy between Poles and Lithuanians, for example, although many people live where there is a crossover in the populations. His essay to his friend describing and trying to explain his struggle and his feelings was hard to get through, but worth it.
The nature of nationalism sho
...more
Piet Michael
Ein Sammelsurium vollkommen unterschiedlicher Textsorten, u.a. ein Briefwechsel mit T. Venclova, der das eindeutig bessere Buch über Vilnius verfasste; Milosz konzentriert sich stärker auf seine Erinnerungen(Höhepunkt: Das Dictionnaire zu Wilnas Straßen), ist aber im Gesamtbild über die Stadt etwas naiver als sein litauischer Kollege.
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Back to my serious reading.
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Shelves: poetry
Though all I actually want to read is some of his poetry.
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Czesław Miłosz memorialised his Lithuanian childhood in a 1955 novel, The Issa Valley , and in the 1959 memoir Native Realm . After graduating from Sigismund Augustus Gymnasium in Vilnius, he studied law at Stefan Batory University and in 1931 he travelled to Paris, where he was influenced by his distant cousin Oscar Milosz, a French poet of Lithuanian descent and a Swedenborgian. His first volu ...more
More about Czesław Miłosz...

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