The life and works of Miłosz are the starting point of a journey towards a common ground through those elements that have influenced the Hebrew-speaking audience
The goal of the conference is to familiarise the Israeli reader with the Noble prize winning Polish author immersed in the most pivotal moments of the Eastern European history. Leading Israeli poets, writers and literati, as well as the Polish essayist and literature historian, Irena Grudzińska-Gross take on this important mission.
The meeting is hosted by the Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem. At this very place, 26 years ago, in March of 1985, during a conference on Literature and Exile Czesław Miłosz talked about his experiences as an emigrant. Miłosz told the audience at the lecture,
When I decided to emigrate. I felt as if I was committing suicide. I was paralised for a long time, I wasn’t able to write, but I said to myself: I am in a lost position anyways, I might as well do something useful with it.
13.30 – 15.30 Session 1: Hundredth anniversary of the birth of Czesław Miłosz
Dr. David Weinfeld, a translator and ambassador for Miłosz’s work presents his poetic biography of the writer and talks about his memories related to writing it. Dr. Irena Grudzińska-Gross gives a lecture entitled Miłosz and the War, in which she talks about the two poems that are especially signicant to the local reader: "Campo dei Fiori" and "A Poor Christian Looks at the Ghetto". Dr. Aminadav Dykman is to talk about the perception of the Noble winning author in Israel. Dykman is a translator and head of the Translation Studies Programme at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The session is concluded by a screening of the "Magic Mountain: American Portrait of Czesław Miłosz", a documentary by Maria-Zmarz Koczanowicz. The whole session is moderated by a radio journalist and translator, Benny Hendel.
16.00 – 17.30 Session 2: My Faithful Mother Tongue
But without you, who am I?
Only a scholar in a distant country,
a success, without fears and humiliations.
Yes, who am I without you?
Just a philosopher, like everyone else.
- from "My Faithful Mother Tongue"
Sivan Beskin, a poet and translator born in Vilnus, poet Roni Sommeck who comes from Baghdad, Arabic writer and publicist Uda Baszarat, a novelist writing in Russian - Dina Rubina take part part in a debate about Miłosz, significant issues of Israeli culture, including language and identity. They try to find an answer to a question: in today’s global village does emigration still mean "suicide" for a writer?. The discussion is moderated by journalist Shiri Lev-Ari.
18.00 – 19.30 Session 3 The Captive Mind – Author Against the Authority
The first Hebrew translation of Miłosz’s "The Captive Mind" by Miri Paz was recently published. A debate on what it is that captivates the minds of authors is led by a literati, author of writers’ biographies set in a political context, prof. Nissim Kalderon, author of a best-selling novel on life in kibbutz, Yael Neeman, philosopher and a political activist, director of the Mifneh Institute for Democracy and Judaism, dr Tzvia Greenfeld, poet, translator and publisher of Polish poetry, prof. Rafi Weichert. The panel is moderated by a journalist, Merav Michaeli. Fragments of "The Captive Mind" are read by actor Jack Szwili.
The conference is accompanied by a screening of "The Issa Valley" directed by Tadeusz Konwicki.
Screenings take place at:
The Jerusalem Cinematheque, the 15th od December, at 21:30,
The Tel Aviv Cinematheque, the 20th of December, at 20.00
Haifa Cinematheque, the 22nd of December, at 18:45
The conference takes place at Mishkenot Sha’ananim on 19th of December, 2011. Support was granted by the Book Institute.
Organisers: Polish Institute in Tel Aviv, Mishkenot Shaananim. Cooperation: The National Film Archive, TVP, The Jerusalem Cinematheque, Tel Aviv and Haifa Film Archive