Exile as Destiny: Czeslaw Milosz and America
On view October 24 through December 17, 2011
He had his home, posthumous, in the town of New Haven,
In a white building, behind walls
Of translucent marble like turtle shell
—Czesław Miłosz, from “Beinecke Library.” Provinces. New York: Ecco Press, 1991.
The life of Czesław Miłosz (1911-2004), Polish poet, novelist, diplomat, and Nobel Laureate, spanned a time of political upheavals and social turmoil. He lived in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, in the Paris of exiled literati, and in the United States, perched atop the Berkeley hills with a view of San Francisco Bay. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library celebrates the centennial of Czesław Miłosz, renowned author of Bells in Winter, Captive Mind and Native Realm, with an exhibition drawn from the library’s holdings. The manuscripts, documents, and photographs on display reveal lesser-known aspects of Miłosz’s multifaceted relationship with America, with his adopted home in California, with fellow émigré authors, and with the English language.