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Mikolaj Golubiewski

"A Magic Mountain":The American Persona of Czeslaw Milosz

Alumnus FSGS

Email mgolubiewski@gmail.com

Mikolaj Golubiewski, born 1985 in Poland, studied at the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities at the University of Warsaw from 2004. There, he studied both Polish and English Literature and Language. His MA dissertation focused on modernity in one of the most important Polish novels, The Doll by Boleslaw Prus. In 2007 he established the Literary Theory Society which organized lectures, literary competitions, international conferences (on Rilke and on modernity), and published scholarly publications. At the same time, he began writing articles on literature and popular culture for the Polish Radio website. In 2009 he was engaged with the Borderland Foundation, guardians of the Czeslaw Milosz heritage, for which he prepared conferences on intercultural dialogue in Berlin and Brussels as well as edited a publication introductory to those issues – A Handbook of Dialogue: Trust and Identity. From 2009 to 2012 he studied English Studies at the Free University of Berlin, where he finished his second MA dissertation on ocular relations and visual control in the writings of Charles Dickens, Henry James, and Boleslaw Prus. Since October 2012, Mikolaj Golubiewski is a doctoral candidate at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School at the Free University of Berlin.

 

In his dissertation project, he concentrates on the reception of the Polish Nobel Prize winning poet, Czeslaw Milosz, in the United States, which begins with his publication of The Captive Mind in 1953 and lasts to this day. The aim is to analyze his various levels of presence in American culture: friendships with intellectuals, university lectures, articles and correspondence in English, translations of his works as well as readings of his thought by others. The project will also examine Milosz's conscious self-perception as the exceptional lone emigrant writer and how he was perceived in the US among various and changing literary movements. Along with a thorough query at his archives in Yale, Berkeley, and Cracow, Mikolaj Golubiewski conducts a set of interviews with people of culture and academia who knew Milosz and/or feel influenced by his persona. Among others, he had strong relationships or influenced Josip Brodsky, Seamus Heaney, Charles Taylor, Susan Sontag, Thomas Merton, Tomas Venclova, Edward Hirsch, and Robert Pinsky. The thesis is that there is a significant American persona of Czeslaw Milosz available for analysis and clear description which is present in (even mainstream) American culture. By "persona," Mikolaj Golubiewski understands the aforementioned levels of direct, indirect and mediated presence through which Milosz influenced American culture.

 

Golubiewski, Mikolaj, Joanna Kulas, Ewa Paczoska, Eds. Doswiadczenie nowoczesnosci. Perspektywa polska – perspektywa europejska. (English: Experience of Modernity. Polish and European Perspectives). Warszawa: Warsaw UP, 2012.

 

Golubiewski, Mikolaj, Krzysztof Czyzewski, Joanna Kulas, Eds. A Handbook of Dialogue. Trust and Identity. Sejny: Borderland Foundation P, 2011.

 

Golubiewski, Mikolaj, Joanna Kulas, Eds. Rilke po polsku (English: Rilke In Polish). Warszawa: Warsaw UP, 2010.