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Book Title: The Captive Mind|
The author of the book: Czesław Miłosz
Date of issue: August 11th 1990
ISBN 13: 9780679728566
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 984 KB
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The Captive Mind begins with a discussion of the novel Insatiability by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and its plot device of Murti-Bing pills, which are used as a metaphor for dialectical materialism, but also for the deadening of the intellect caused by consumerism in Western society. The second chapter considers the way in which the West was seen at the time by residents of Central and Eastern Europe, while the third outlines the practice of Ketman, the act of paying lip service to authority while concealing personal opposition, describing seven forms applied in the people's democracies of mid-20th century Europe.
The four chapters at the heart of the book then follow, each a portrayal of a gifted Polish man who capitulated, in some fashion, to the demands of the Communist state. They are identified only as Alpha, the Moralist; Beta, The Disappointed Lover; Gamma, the Slave of History; and Delta, the Troubadour. However, each of the four portraits were easily identifiable: Alpha is Jerzy Andrzejewski, Beta is Tadeusz Borowski, Gamma is Jerzy Putrament and Delta is Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński.
The book moves toward its climax with an elaboration of "enslavement through consciousness" in the penultimate chapter and closes with a pained and personal assessment of the fate of the Baltic nations in particular.
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Read information about the authorCzesław Miłosz memorialised his Lithuanian childhood in a 1955 novel, The Issa Valley , and in the 1959 memoir Native Realm . After graduating from Sigismund Augustus Gymnasium in Vilnius, he studied law at Stefan Batory University and in 1931 he travelled to Paris, where he was influenced by his distant cousin Oscar Milosz, a French poet of Lithuanian descent and a Swedenborgian. His first volume of poetry was published in 1934.
After receiving his law degree that year, he again spent a year in Paris on a fellowship. Upon returning, he worked as a commentator at Radio Wilno, but was dismissed, an action described as stemming from either his leftist views or for views overly sympathetic to Lithuania. Miłosz wrote all his poetry, fiction and essays in Polish and translated the Old Testament Psalms into Polish.
Awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who with uncompromising clear-sightedness voices man's exposed condition in a world of severe conflicts."
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