The Polish Cultural Institute in Paris promoted the audiobook during a special evening on the 27th of October at the Parisian la Scam.. Participants received an edition of Le Magazine Littéraire together with the audiobook insert. Having listened to recordings of two poems from the audiobook, the audience was presented with a lecture by Littéraire's Guillaume Lambey and a screening of Andrzej Wolski's documentary about Miłosz
Photo: Elżbieta Lempp
As part of the Polish 2011 Milosz Year, French Le Magazine Littéraire makes the written words of Miłosz come alive, recited by actor Michel Lonsdale on an audiobook insert
The audio books, produced by the pan-European Polish Institutes, are an opportunity for European readers to acquaint themselves with the works of the Polish Nobel Prize for Literature winner. The endeavour forms part of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency of the EU, as well as a special programme commemorating the hundredth year since the Polish poet's birth. The publications differ, depending on their country of publication, although the graphic concept remains the same.
Poems for the French edition were selected by Erik Veaux and Michał Masłowski. Veaux is a French slavist and translator of Witkacy and Borowski. Masłowski is proffessor of Polish language and historian of literature lecturing at the Sorbonne. He has translated the works of Mickiewicz, Słowacki, Różewicz as well as Miłosz into the French.
The selection of works was recorded in Paris on the 23rd of June by Michel Lonsdale, French theatre, film and radio actor.
Throught his carrer, Michel Lonsdale has appeared in 180 films and television programmes. The actor is known for his role of Sir Hugo Drax from the 1979 James Bond film, "Moonraker". Other notable portrayals created by Lonsdale include the role of detective Claude Lebel in "The Day of the Jackal", Papa in Steven Spielberg's "Munich" and the recent role as brother Luc in "Des hommes et des dieux", for which the actor won the César Award.
France held particular significance for Czesław Miłosz. The poet spent a decade in Paris when he was transferred there as a diplomat for the Polish communist government in 1950. Having requested political asylum, he spent the next ten years in Paris as a freelance writer. It was during his time there that he published "The Captive Mind", (1953) and his novel, "The Seizure of Power", which received the Prix Littéraire European from the Swiss Book Guild. The first publication boldly attempts to explore the appeal of Stalinism. It takes four supposedly hypothetical characters and explains their capitulation to the communist system. It also discusses the deadening impact of consumerism in Western society. "The Seizure of Power" elaborates on the theme of the communist mindset.
The Polish Cultural Institute in Paris promoted the audiobook during a special evening on the 27th of October at la Scam in Paris. Ludwik Flaszen and Rita Gombrowicz, spouse of the late Witold Gombrowicz participated in the evening, during which all of the 50 participants received an edition of Le Magazine Littéraire together with the audiobook insert. Having listened to recordings of two poems from the audiobook, the audience was presented with a lecture by Magazine Littéraire's Guillaume Lambey. Lambey spoke about the life and work of Czesław Miłosz, placing particular emphasis on the significance of the time spent by the Polish poet in Paris. The evening was closed with a screening of Andrzej Wolski's documentary about the writer, which was produced in France in 1993.
Le Magazine Littéraire, established in 1966, reviews both French and foreign-language publications and features interviews with authors. It also organises literary meetings and festivals. It frequently discusses works by Camus, Foucault and Sartre.
Miłosz's poetry will also be distributed in audio book form in other European capitals, linked with the Polish EU Presidency Cultural Programme, and will also be available to view on the underground, through the London "Poems on the Underground" initiative.
Full list of Czesław Miłosz's poems on the French audiobook:
"Un pauvre chrétien regarde le Ghetto"
"Rien de plus"
"En adieu à ma femme Janina"
"Ode à l’oiseau"
"Introduction a Heraklit" (fragments)
"Le Titanic" (fragments)
"Le pauvre poète"
"Portrait du XX ème siècle"
The French edition of Czesław Miłosz's audiobook is made possible thanks to the help and cooperation with the Polish Cultural Institute in Paris.
Date: Distribution starts 1st of September, 2011
Location: Nationwide in France, through Le Magazine Littéraire magazine
Organised by: Le Magazine Littéraire, Polish Cultural Institute in Paris, Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Project cofinanced by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Czesław Miłosz is a Flagship Project of the Cultural Programme of the Polish Presidency. For more information on the project, see: Czesław Miłosz
For more information on 2011 Milosz Year, see: www.milosz365.eu
Source: Adam Mickiewicz Institute