Letters to Miłosz. Peter writes Gulava

New opus century literary project to Czeslaw Milosz. With the support of the International Network of Literary Centres "Halma" and the European Cultural Foundation.

Dear Mr. Milos

was a summer morning, the fourth or fifth hour. Air as e-mail inside the shell — play pink and gray, you write in 1958 in his essay "Native Europe." DO NOT e-mail, and enamel, I know. We are from different eras. I imagine, like you, with a white napkin on your lap, just like a native Parisian, one by one, open shells in a small cozy restaurant in Montmartre. Almost thirty years later, in the summer of eighty seven, my parents and I collect shells on the beach dirty gray Baltic. It's cold, but under the cloud and in the same booth as the eye quit — just mold Polish sausages. In the hotel for breakfast — soup of warm milk, from which our sister stomachs every time vskalyhvayutstsa the ships.

You write that Prague is your first Western European capital, in the thirty-first year of intoxicated you with its air, like foam, full of laughter and music. That "heartfelt warmth and humanity of a comprehensive" Do you want to swallow. Then you were twenty. You should know how to

First exit "over the hill" as long we talked in the East — the memory of a lifetime.

only Lithuania, a shy law student at the University of Vilnius. The way in which you and your friends have bought in Czechoslovakia canoes ferried him to the Lake of Constance and sailed it on the Rhine possible closer to Paris — it was your idea? You write the plan was only following a colon. But it is precisely this relatively short journey to the West you dedicate as much as fifteen pages of his "Native of Europe." First exit "over the hill" as long we talked in the East — the memory of a lifetime, your true (I'll never forget his big rainbow ball of the Vienna Mariahilferstrasse, when I was ten. Was in the yard in 1990, again open borders and across Vienna at stores hung signs: "The Czechs, do not steal!").

I am glad that you are one of the first Western European capital was precisely Prague. We never felt here in the west. Certainly not in my lifetime. We have always been, at best, Central Europe, and often only East. The closer to the east to Russia, the

The closer to the east to Russia, the more people will argue with you that you are exactly and precisely in the center of Europe.

Increasingly, people will argue with you that you are exactly and precisely in the center of Europe. We kindly ask you to swear in Poland, we have in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. Convince people of the opposite — that is to take away their hope. For the Poles, the Czechs have one foot West, which is why you feel the malicious us a little love. The malicious because, for you, the Poles, we maladushniki with hunched ranges, rather than heroes such as you. I write "you" in Poland, even though you were born in Lithuania and lived there for the youth. But it does not torment you. You can not stand nationalism, so this is allergic to the right. You name nationalists defective, and I'm not surprised, though it is likely that if it were not for your reputation kuleneprabivnae, we in the Czech Republic you would from your left past today, did not find understanding. You write that you find it difficult to find a common language with people who had no experience of the Marxist. But in fact they are in the Czech Republic would understand you better than older ones. For a considerable number of Czech intellectuals middle-aged and older people with a career diplomat, the People's Republic would be at least suspicious.

Twenty years, allergic rather strange to our capitalism, which delight of Czech communism know one of the schools to such roles are in principle more leniently. But under those who do not have for a Marxist past, you had in mind rather rabble from the West, is not it? In Europe, so they can be called only we, the representatives of the broad-Slavic peoples, and thus in a conspiratorial wink at each other. Do not think that I was passed. When I was eighteen years old went to America for the first time, something from that distance was in

Against the invasion of the barbarians I regularly zagartovvayusya cold water, struggling against extinction in Europe that have children.

I still do. Chaotic mixture of admiration and contempt. The desire to swallow all this carefree, nafarshavatstsa it, like a turkey — in short, what you felt during his visit to Prague, I also know only from the United States. While there is comfort, they are unbeaten in their performance, logic, responsibility and self-confidence. I could continue: In its outlook, gumanizme, democracy. We will open the door and inside the greenhouse zaduyut frost with Sino-Siberian steppes or deadly heat of the Arabian desert, the whole West was lost. Against the invasion of the barbarians I regularly zagartovvayusya cold water, struggling against extinction in Europe that have children. Funny, is not it? Start with yourself — funny?

Let zahodneevrapeytsy forgive me. For why should we strain as the other, if not to be like them. And we are almost the same as they are. Let there be a German, French or British said, do not even think we will learn a mile away and travel under your black glasses, but a Caucasian or vralets might well say, of course, Warsaw and Dortmund — is the same, exactly the same thing .

Meanwhile Urals I wanted to catch you. I know how much you do not like Russia. You can not stand it and admire it, like the West, but in reverse. In barbarism strong hands. Both our countries have experienced his arms as well as the entire civilized world Russian literature. Hence, it is a delight. Oh great literature, thrilled intellectuals across Europe from Russian novels. According to literature, it all begins, and ends with the literature. Even so, it's not the only thing you really hungry? Read and to be read? ..

Only in spite of all your claims against Poland, woe to him who lifts his on your imaginary bridge between the East and the West. This feeling is halfway between the East and the West you cultivate as well as intellectuals in the Czech Republic. Senior intellectuals. Young almost not set. None of them is no longer an immigrant, there was only a bunch of young vagabond. But despite this, your life and the key philosophical triangle Poland-Russia-West or nearly lost their relevance for me. Your big theme in Western and Eastern Europe did not make it myself. That's between barbarity and tsyvilizavanastsyu, which stretches like an imaginary continuation of the Trans-Siberian Railway, somewhere to the east of Berlin and Paris. The fact that you are Poland, Czech Republic for me. I go to the East tempered and, roughly speaking, to be inspired. East sharpens the senses, like a thunderstorm. West, as the sea smooths the verge of that after the grinds. Over a cup of coffee overlooking the streets of Western cities can denounce capitalism, in a cramped, sweaty and shabby train to Vladivostok want something for nothing from the western delicacies. I travel to the East as an anonymous traveler. Where is your husband? And what about the children alone without a mother? — Ask it, and at least on the outside looking worriedly. I go to the West to sell,

After twenty years of democracy and capitalism, we have not the others, but at the same time not the same for the West to be really interesting.

sell their books. There are asked about communism, that I can remember of it, and I'm already vtamlyae, but new topics are difficult. It is possible that another five or, at least, jus
t ten or fifteen years ago, Czech writers in the West have been interesting export commodity, a miracle from the far east. But unlike abtserlasya and, most importantly, with most of the leg took on his shoulders. After twenty years of democracy and capitalism, we have not the others, but at the same time not the same for the West to be really interesting. We are the same, only a little worse, and there's nothing less attractive than to be the same, just a little behind.

A couple of days ago, the German publisher refused my novel that, and I quote: "His avangardnasts too old-fashioned." And while I was sincerely convinced that open a small America. My ambition wounded could cut with a knife, but on the other hand, does not have a quality that is old-fashioned avant-garde today something exceptional? Another novel in Germany was not accepted because, quote, "It certainly is interesting for the Czechs, but …" Or would meet with such an argument German author in the Czech Republic?

As just to make their own shortcomings on the national

As just to make their own shortcomings on national identity, right?

accessory, right? We uskhodneevrapeytsy generally like to feel sorry for myself, I would add that under the Poles, perhaps many in the West, most usually Polish Polish plumber or home assistant, but what I'd give for a cleaner when my country in the United States in some places even confused (let the Chechens will forgive my arrogance) with Chechnya.

On the Poles have anecdote goes that the Pole — is the Russian who frequently washed, and Czech — who is this? ..

Westerners do not know what a hard life. I think so. And you say it. So they go to the East except fuck.

It's about stereotypes. As he shook hands with each other, we are on both sides of the iron curtain (how long?) Showed each other's nose. In a united Europe in a single EU.

In 2003, we voted in a referendum to join the EU, I was

In 2003, we voted in a referendum to join the EU, I was against it.

against. The only member of his family, of friends, of all the people I know. After all, the company of our country ahead of the referendum on accession has been a model example of brainwashing. Like, for a Europe of young, smart, educated, and against EU vote only disappointed ksenafobnyya pensioners and farmers, here and choose yourself where you belong.

Today, we are the only Europe, so what? Blasphemy to say it like that in the open? Normally shy to think a certain way? Perhaps it. In the name of the existing order. Shame — it's intuitive wall against chaos. No, self-censorship is not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary. We have a chance to face the world just in case here in Europe we will act at least partly at the same time. Therefore, we show some teeth on some civilized. Long live vysmeyvanaya political correctness in the name of lofty goals!

A literature? While almost none of her words was not. I, too, a couple of times stargaze in old Parisian cafe. Where prydumlyalisya all these literary trends and isms, you know? In the Czech Republic, when I go to someone in the cafe, as if to spite us delve conversations about literature, and most of all to those who himself wrote. Maybe this is the history taught to be ashamed uskhodneevrapeytsa intellectual? You may not believe it, but we have the word "intellectual" still has a certain reactionary tone. When people ask me what I do, I do not say frankly that I write. Until recently, I truthfully answered that study, but from the time when this was left without excuses, I wriggle out and give out the truth only when there is no other way out. In the column to the profession, if possible, I would draw something unprintable,

Writer and mother — is the essential contrast, is not it?

I am afraid that someone burst out laughing. Sometimes I say it again: I'm on maternity leave. But it's only when I'm not with the people of the literary sphere. Before them, I abhor myself to the last writings. Writer and mother — is the essential contrast, is not it? You can not live simultaneously altruistic and selfish to others only for himself and creativity, this is the reason. Did you know a woman who managed to combine all that and wrote something worthwhile? Moreover, as soon as the people will having children, they immediately ask about writing children's books. With shame and humiliation inside (unless I have to fall so low?) Answer out loud and with a smile that he does not have intention to …

Mainly, what I finally make up my mind to disagree with you, will be your dialecticism said. Between persistence and historical given, between the divine and historical — on the tightrope you walked all my life. With a feeling that you can not beat your head against the wall. Neither in life nor in the works because the author still shows that there are, and where everything is controlled. Like a dog pulls on the chain vyhazhanym circle around their booths, and even a step further. There's more — a utopia, perhaps, communist, who was your taste, like many others who felt that the history of struggling in convulsions, and that at the time of death may we be equal to each other. Further, for vyhazhanym wheel booth — madness, extreme, pure fable. If a person wants to testify about the era, he, in your opinion, should at least halfway into the water and move with the wave. Here's what I mean your diplomatic activity, your natural hameleona, scout in a world that was so you do not like. And the skin of the academician, and the skin of the artist, after all. You would not want to be an artist is a child of the world experienced. Romantic and naive fool in the world as a precaution. You did not share

A dog that flies, flies into space. Jumps headlong. That is what is literature. Chutzpah zhyvlenae will and talent.

Marxist nastoyvanne the actions instead of the so-called naive dreams, and yet you have this tormented. What is a word of action against, right? Yellowed paper, the data on the hard drive that is messed up, whispering million and a text that roam the internet. Hence, your sense that among the artists and revolutionaries reigns essential unspoken reconciliation. But at the same time you know very well that any ideological prose is clean yalavastsyu. Your consciousness is dialecticism measures and balance. Proven solid experience and solid life. But what if the dog goes wrong with the circuit? I mean Eastern European dog. Where it flies? Howl with the wolves in Siberia? Zagryztsi host? West happy dog, he tsyumryts granules, and he has long no one gave in the face. A dog that flies, flies into space. Jumps headlong. That is what is literature. Chutzpah zhyvlenae will and talent. In that case, you'd probably call me a spoiled grubiyanka. We see this since I grew up. We see all this free time allows. Times, thanks for that, and you rely. For the fact that in the West in the days of the Iron Curtain about us uskhodneevrapeytsav knew.


Your Peter Gulava

(Translation Veronica Belkovich)


Community Project "Letters to Miłosz" was launched alongside the cultural and educational centers, among them — the International Network of Literary Centres "Halma", European Cultural Foundation. This project — continued understanding the relationship of Europe, which he founded Milos in his famous book "Native Europe" (Rodzinna Europa). First published i
n Paris in 1958 anti-communist exile community and has been translated into almost all European languages, the book tells the story of the "Eastern European". Born in Lithuania, Polish nobleman, who survived another revolution in Russia for a long time he lived in Paris and the United States, died in Krakow, which he reminded Vilnius.

From Vilnius, Czeslaw Milosz and write about it

From Prague, wrote Czeslaw Milosz

Alexander Lukashuk Email to Milos

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