An Invisible Rope (Paperback)

Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz

By Cynthia L. Haven (Editor)

Swallow Press, 9780804011334, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 29, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/29/2011)

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Czeslaw Milosz (1911–2004) often seemed austere and forbidding to Americans, but those who got to know him found him warm, witty, and endlessly enriching. An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz presents a collection of remembrances from his colleagues, his students, and his fellow writers and poets in America and Poland.

Milosz’s oeuvre is complex, rooted in twentieth-century eastern European history. A poet, translator, and prose writer, Milosz was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1961 to 1998. In 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The earliest in this collection of thirty-two memoirs begins in the 1930s, and the latest takes readers to within a few days of Milosz’s death. This vital collection reveals the fascinating life story of the man Joseph Brodsky called “one of the greatest poets of our time, perhaps the greatest.”

About the Author

Cynthia L. Haven has written for the "Times Literary Supplement," the "Washington Post," the "Los Angeles Times," the "San Francisco Chronicle," the "Kenyon Review," the "Georgia Review," and others. Her most recent books include "Czeslaw Milosz: Conversations and Peter Dale in Conversation with Cynthia Haven." She was recently a Milena Jesenska Journalism Fellow with Vienna s Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen."

Praise For An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz

“In the wake of his death in 2004, the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz seems more permanent than ever. Yet the creator of that poetry—the human being who spent much of his life wrestling with loneliness, obscurity, and a punishing form of linguistic exile—has already begun to recede into literary history. We should be grateful, then, for the reminiscences that Cynthia Haven has collected in An Invisible Rope. The reader is offered glimpses of Milosz in his salad days and in his post-Nobel splendor, in Wilno and Berkeley, Washington and Krakow. The result is a vivid, kaleidoscopic portrait of the man whom Adam Zagajewski calls ‘an ecstatic poet and ecstatic person.’” 

—James Marcus, author of Amazonia and Deputy Editor, Harper’s Magazine 

 “These vivid portraits and memoirs, these intimacies rescued from oblivion, tie us more closely to one of the great poets and spiritual presences of the 20th century. An Invisible Rope is an indispensable compendium.”

 —Edward Hirsch, author of The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems