My Miłosz – Marek Skwarnicki
In commemoration of Czesław Miłosz, Biały Kruk (White Crow) Publishers have prepared a new book that presents the poet as he has never before been known to readers.
These memoirs extend to the last days of the Nobel Prize winner's life. From these letters and conversations that encompass almost half a century emerges a Milosz so much more interesting than the one we know from more or less favorable biographical notes and discussions of his person. His letters and records of private meetings may even say more about him than his literary output; they are the key to another door behind which stands an intensely real Czeslaw Milosz. Marek Skwarnicki - an excellent writer and translator in his own right, and a member of the Catholic community that was an enclave of freedom during Communist times - shared a friendship with Czeslaw Milosz that spanned more than half a century. His memoirs illustrate the epoch within which the protagonists of this book made their mark. Extensive quotes from Milosz's letters reveal the poet laureate's personal sympathies (or antipathies) and the spiritual dilemmas of this great artist. Marek Skwarnicki was also a close companion to the poet during the last weeks and months of his life, when Milosz struggled against an advancing, fatal illness. The book is also valuable for the unknown documentary photographs it contains (numbering over 60!), in which we see, among others, the Nobel laureate's brother Andrzej and such prominent figures as Adam Bujak.
The author admits that he was inspired to write the book when, while scouring the Internet last year, he happened accidentally upon information that the poet had deposited Skwarnicki's own letters to Milosz with the Yale University archives.
Upon completing the book I asked him (Miłosz) how he would describe it. He said, 'This is the story of a friendship between an old writer and a younger one through difficult times (Marek Skwarnicki in the first chapter of his book).
Skwarnicki began compiling the book in the winter of 2003 and completed writing it in May of 2004.
Source of Polish version: czytelnia.onet.pl
- Marek Skwarnicki
My Milosz / Mój Miłosz
Wydawnictwo "Bialy Kruk", Krakow, September 2004
166 x 240, 208 pages, hardcover