A Poet’s Prose: Adam Zagajewski

Coming across many nice bits as I read Another Beauty, a memoir by the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski. Like the language of his poems, the prose is full of lightly brushed depths. It resonates with me, a would-be philosophy major, as much of it is about his serious study of philosophy in Krakow.

Passages I copied out:

“Twenty-year-old students talking poetry and philosophy until dawn, sitting in a cheap café in Krakow or Paris: who can match their ardor, who can defend or indict all writers, living and dead, with greater passion? No one better honors the works of the human spirit than students sitting for hours in the smoke-filled rooms of little restaurants, students caught up in conversations. ”

“Anyone who writes, or tries to write, and plans his day around the thought of the task that awaits him, has to grapple with two basic problems: (1) how to get up in the morning, and (2) (if he manages to the first) how to get sleep at night. ”

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