An Invisible Rope (Paperback)

Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz

By Cynthia L. Haven (Editor), Cynthia L. Haven (Editor)

Swallow Press, 9780804011334, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2011

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

List Price: 29.95*
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Czesław Miłosz (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 Czesław Miłosz presents a collection of remembrances from his colleagues, his students, and his fellow writers and poets in America and Poland.

Miłosz’s oeuvre is complex, rooted in twentieth-century eastern European history. A poet, translator, and prose writer, Miłosz 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 Miłosz’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.”

Contributors include: Bogdana Carpenter, Clare Cavanagh, Anna Frajlich, Natalie Gerber, George Gömöri, Irena Grudzińska Gross, Hynryk Grynberg, Dan Halpern, Robert Hass, Seamus Heaney, Jane Hirshfield, Agnieszka Kosińska, John Foster Leich, Madeline G. Levine, Richard Lourie, Zygmunt Malinowski, Morton Marcus, Jadwiga Maurer, W. S. Merwin, Leonard Nathan, Robert Pinsky, Alexander Schenker, Peter Dale Scott, Marek Skwarnicki, Judith Tannenbaum, Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier, Lillian Vallee, Tomas Venclova, Helen Vendler, Reuel K. Wilson, Joanna Zach, and Adam Zagajewski

About the Author

Cynthia L. Haven has contributed to the Times Literary Supplement, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Kenyon Review, the Georgia Review, and others. Recent books include Czesław Miłosz: Conversations and Peter Dale in Conversation with Cynthia Haven. She was recently a Milena Jesenská Journalism Fellow with Vienna’s Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen.

Praise For An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz

“(A)n exquisite collection of thirty-two memoirs…. I highly recommend it to fellow poets or scholars who are ‘new’ to (Miłosz) because it can deepen the appreciation for his work prior to reading more of it. This book is the ultimate ‘back story.’”—New Pages

“This collection is a must for everyone aspiring to know Milosz and his work. Summing Up: Highly recommended.Choice

“(An Invisible Rope) will delight Miłosz readers with gossip and add anecdotal texture to his image as a great Polish poet in Californian exile, who made a triumphant return to Cracow in his old age…. The common themes include Miłosz’s roaring laughter and insatiable appetite, enduring desire for literary fame, and sense of loneliness.”—Times Literary Supplement

“There is something… in this book which is akin to eavesdropping on (a) social gathering of Czeslaw Milosz and his friends reminiscing over good food and drink…. An Invisible Rope is a very strong collection…. a captivating and human portrait of the poet and his life.”—Sarmatian Review

“The reader comes away feeling as if she knows this person as a man—no longer merely the picture of a legend. It compels the reader to revisit even his most well-known works, from The Captive Mind to Road-Side Dog, to be read anew, refreshed by the contextualization of a life lived.”—The Cosmopolitan Review