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The Captive Mind has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: Beginning with Hitler and Nazi Germany in up until the fall of the Soviet Union in. The Captive Mind (Polish: Zniewolony umysł) is a work of nonfiction by Polish writer, academic and Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz, published in the. The best known prose work by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and.

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Maybe chaos, and socialism by Mises will be more of use for those looking for answers not just descriptions.

The Captive Mind – by Czeslaw Milosz: A Book Review | Joel D. Hirst’s Blog

The Captive Mind is Polish poet and Nobel prize winner Czeslaw Milosz’s astute work of non-fiction speaking to the attraction of totalitarianism for writers, artists and intellectuals. And yet the multiplicity of human experience below the mere material is the origin of this new suffering, that of wanting and needing so desperately to fit in with an ideology which is opposed to the fundament of your being.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Why would intellectuals and creative artists adapt themselves to invaders and their totalitarian regimes? I do believe still that that system was obviously flawed, and history has born that out, but there is also no doubt I was subjected to our own propaganda as well. At the time of the Berkeley campus revolution inwhen the students began to assess their professors, he was proud to receive excellent grades.

In the novel, a new Mongol Empire conquers Poland and introduces Murti-Bing pills as a cure for independent thought. Art produced in the service of totalitarian demand can never be aught but propaganda; and if the drab, lifeless prose, the insipid, barren realism of the official Soviet literary and artistic elite was the end demanded by Progressive History, it raised the unavoidable question of whether such progress should not be halted in its grey-enshrouding tracks.


I was relieved to find that this year, I could read that same review quite calmly.

The Captive Mind

Separate chapters are devoted to specific authors: Milosz expresses a belief, however, that Andrzejewski’s Catholic Faith went only skin deep. This bell jar pretensions of universal meaning are common enough in esteemed literature, and apparently it was foolish to hope that a Nobel Prize of Lit Winner who had experienced the European breeds of Fascism and Socialism would be any different.

Often, as I am sitting on the terrace of a Paris cafe. Things were made even more difficult by the fact that his family had remained in America and he was denied a US visa to join them because of his association with the communist Polish government.

People such as Americans and Canadians, who grew up knowing only the stability and continuity of their systems, consider differing forms to be abnormal and impossible to maintain, as they contradict man’s very nature. Thielicke reports that among the first to morally capitulate in Nazi Germany were the non-Jewish professors and intellectuals. Thielicke also tells us that the majority of Christians in Germany gave in, as well.

For me, it was immensely helpful — as I have often struggled to understand why men who should be of sensitive spirit so often make common cause with the violence.

Trivia About The Captive Mind. View all 4 comments. He also takes an indulgent delight in his work still being read by a young readership. It is difficult, in the space of a review, to do justice to the moving and potent genius of The Captive Mind.

Once great novelists, poets, and artists were now producing rote propaganda to promote an iron-fisted rule. He later returned to the church, and learned Hebrew in order to translate the Psalms into Polish, but has said that while he is a Catholic, he is not a Catholic writer. After receiving his law degree czespaw year, he again spent a year in Paris on a fellowship.

As an adult he lived through the wartime Nazi occupation of Warsaw and then the Soviet domination of Poland. It has been an illuminating and deeply moving experience over the last several months to read or re-read books by Hungarian, Russian and Polish authors, from John Paul II to Anna Akhmatova.


The following four chapters tie together Ketman with his opening thesis in the examination of a tetrad of fellow Poles: Should I renounce what is probably the sole duty of a poet only in order to make sure that my verse would be printed in an anthology edited by the State Publishing House? Iran, Ketman and the Bomb Joel D. View all 6 comments. However, just like in Witkacy’s novel, human material subjected to this process begin to suffer from a split personality – people forced to exist in the new system cannot completely abandon their old beliefs, views and habits, which forces them to live in a state of what could be called reverse schizophrenia: Pablo Neruda has been a Communist for some ten years.

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As Czeslaw Milosz points out, even more czespaw physical restraints, the transformation of the inner life was profound. After returning to Wilno, Milosz worked for Polish Radio there, but was transferred to Warsaw in because of his leftist sympathies in general, and his willingness to allow Jews to broadcast in particular.

Friends say he can have periods of melancholy, but is generally a highly gregarious companion who is enthusiastic about food, drink and conversation. This was way out of my normal box; and maybe that’s why I couldn’t get it czptive into it.

mlosz Is it even possible to live entirely without ‘ketman’? When writing, he thinks about his brothers and not about himself, and so to him the power of the word is given.