17 April 2009

What is it about the Eastern Europeans?

"Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in the times of greatest distress." Milan Kundera, Czech Writer

"To remain aware of the weight of fact without yielding to the temptation to become only a reporter is one of the most difficult puzzles confronting a practitioner of poetry." Czeslaw Milosz, Polish Writer

What is it about the Eastern Europeans?

The Literary Quote of the Day made me think of Poetics last spring and Czeslaw Milosz - his poetry embodies this sense of beauty in times of distress. In fact, the way I ended up describing it in my notes resonates with both of these quotes: In moments of dissolution, the specific and the general meet - intimacy and ephemera.

I am not sure that it expresses the resonance, but there ya go - that's what happens when a non-linear thinker gets to blog...

This lead me to reflect on the beauty of Eastern European writer's works, both poetry and prose. They are so heart-wrenchingly fabulous and frequently they spring from great tragedy and hardship. They are in no way a specialty of mine, but I am blown away whenever I encounter them (I realize the gross generalization I am making here)...

I wonder what it is about the human condition that inspires the creation beauty from pain?

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