br77rino: Milosz expresses in The Captive Mind the supreme astonishment, as so many eyewitnesses have, that Orwell's fictional 1984 could have laid out so well what life was like where they were, Stalinist Eastern Europe. He says it was a book that was passed around just like the Goldstein book in the novel.… (more)
When someone is honestly 55% right, that's very good and there's no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it's wonderful, it's great luck, and let him thank God. But what's to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he's 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.
-An old Jew of Galicia
It was only towards the middle of the twentieth century that the inhabitants of many European countries came, in general unpleasantly, to the realization that their fate could be influenced directly by intricate and abstruse books of philosophy.
Capitalism created scientific thinking and dealt a powerful blow to religion in Europe by removing the best minds from the confines of theology.
They stammer out their efforts to explain: "The dreadful sadness of life over there"; "I felt I was turning into a machine."
Naked fear is unlikely ever to be inclined to abdicate.
One must always keep in mind the eventual goal, which is the melting down of all nations into a single mass.
I think they are wrong, that their knowledge in all its perfection is insufficient, and their power over life and death is usurped.
And perhaps Zeus, who does not call stamp-collectors and tulip-growers silly, will forgive.
The best known prose work by the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and women living under totalitarianism of the left or right. --Publisher.