The Captive Mind

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Reviews of The Captive Mind (1 review)

5 - Excellent Review


Milosz examines the effects of "Socialist realism" and other totalitarian demands on writers within the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War. He tells the story of four writers variously undone by these strictures on their writing -- one caves in and writes nothing but dreck; one commits suicide when the gap between what he sees and what he can write about becomes too great... It is a masterful handling of a difficult period in European literature, and a grim case study of how creative minds can be controlled and silenced. ("Beta," the second writer Milosz profiles is Tadeusz Borowski, whose stunning set of Holocaust stories "This Way For The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen" should be much better known.)