Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

9/1/2011 - 8/31/2012

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

A Biography of Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004)

FAIN: FA-56202-11

Clare A. Cavanagh
Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)

The Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz repeatedly refers in his writing to the century just past as "my age." "My life story is one of the most astonishing I have ever come across," he comments. His seeming hyperbole is borne out by the remarkable life and work that are the subject of my book-in-progress. Milosz authorized the project before his death. The English version is under contract at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; the Polish edition will appear with Milosz's Polish publisher, Znak. There has been to date no comprehensive biography of the poet in either language. Milosz saw his life as embodying modern European history in its peculiarly harsh Polish variant; his task lay in explicating this emblematic life as history through his writings. The book will present the complex historico-political context that frames and shapes life and writing alike, while critically examining his ever-evolving autobiographical "legend of modernity."