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My Sovereignty

自由的精神就是对自己是否正确不是很有把握的精神。——哈耶克

 
 
 

日志

 
 

CZESLAW MILOSZ’S LIFE  

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CHRONOLOGY    
CZESLAW MILOSZ’S LIFE
CONTEMPORANEOUS POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL EVENTS
1911
Born 30 JUNE, Szetejnie, Lithuania, to Aleksander and Weronika Mi?osz, on an estate belonging to her family.
1913
Mi?osz family in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, where Aleksander was working on a tsarist government contract.
1914
AUG:  Aleksander conscripted into Russian Imperial Army. The whole family returns briefly to the estate in Szetejnie.
1 AUG:  Outbreak of First World War.
1915
Weronika, CM and maternal grandmother seek safety in Wilno. After the Germans seize Wilno in November, CM and his mother head for Aleksander’s detachment at the front.
1917
SEPT:  Birth of Andrzej Mi?osz.
Threat from advancing German Army results in Poles in Lithuania retreating east to Dorpat, Estonia.
CM meets his paternal grandmother, Stanis?awa Mi?osz, whose reading from story-books has a lasting impact on his imagination.
15 MAR:  Tsar Nicholas II abdicates.
2–6 APR:  U.S. Congress summoned to consider President Woodrow Wilson’s proposal to declare war on Germany.
16 APR:  Lenin returns to Russia.
7 OCT:  Bolshevik Revolution. Winter Palace in St Petersburg captured.
5 DEC:  Russia signs armistice; 3.7 million Russian dead.
1918
MAR:  The family returns via Latvia to family estate in Lithuania.
3 MAR:  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ratified between Russia and Germany–Austria Hungary. Russia transfers Russian Poland to Germany and accepts independence of Ukraine.
23 MAR:  Lithuania declares independence from Russia.
16 JULY:  Tsar Nicholas and family executed.
6 NOV:  Austria-Hungary and Germany accept defeat. Poland declares itself a republic.
DEC:  Poland occupies Poznań (formerly Posen).
1919
Education at home, reading books in family library.
APR:  Attempted coup to incorporate Lithuania into Poland thwarted by Lithuanian nationalists.
Aleksander Mi?osz proclaimed a persona non grata and banned from entering the country, thereby blocking all access to the Mi?osz family’s estates.
FEB:  Estonia invaded by Red Army.
APR:  Wilno seized by Poles.
7 MAY:  Allies impose massive war reparations on Germany.
28 JUNE:  Treaty of Versailles signed in Hall of Mirrors.
1920
SPRING:  Weronika Mi?osz moves to Wilno to join her husband. Family becomes dispersed again due to Russian-Polish war. Weronika heads back to Szetejnie with her sons.
JAN:  League of Nations comes into existence (U.S. and China do not join).
War breaks out between Poland and Bolshevik Russia.
8 MAY:  Poles and Ukrainians retake Kiev from the Bolsheviks.
12 JULY:  Red Army advances for a second time closer to Wilno. Soviets sign treaty with Lithuanians giving the latter control of the city, while at the same time attempting to incite a revolt which would enable them to seize power in Lithuania.
27 JULY:  Red Army enters Polish territory.
14–16 AUG:  In what comes to be called ‘the miracle on the Vistula’, Poles under Józef Pi?sudski defeat five Russian armies as they approach Warsaw. Lithuania briefly regains military control in Wilno.
9 OCT:  Poland annexes Wilno.
1921
Threats from local Lithuanians compel Mi?oszes to move to an apartment in Wilno.
CM passes examinations enabling him to attend the King Sigismund Augustus Boys’ State Gymnasium, 1.
18 MAR:  Polish-Russian frontiers agreed at Treaty of Riga.
6 DEC:  British Government and Dail Eireann representatives sign treaty which establishes Irish Free State.
1922
Poland’s Head of State, Józef Pi?sudski, visits Gymnasium in April.
9 OCT:  In Middle Lithuania (area around Wilno), a breakaway group in Parliament consisting of Poles, Lithuanians, Jews and Byelorussians pass a decree which formally unites them with Poland.
28 OCT:  Italian fascists march on Rome. Mussolini heads government consisting of liberals, nationalists and fascists.
30 DEC:  USSR comes into existence.
1923
8 NOV:  Beer Hall or Munich Putsch. Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party attempts to seize control of the government in Bavaria.
1924
21 JAN:  Death of Vladimir Lenin.
APR:  Hitler handed five-year sentence for involvement in putsch. Writes Mein Kampf while in prison.
4 MAY:  German election results: Social Democrats 100 seats; Communists 62; for first time in its history, Nazi Party wins 32 seats.
7 DEC:  German election results: Social Democrats 131 seats; Communists 54; Nazi Party down to 14, a loss of 18 seats. Hitler released from prison.
1925
Aleksander travels to Brazil in search of economic boost for family, but quickly returns.
3 JAN:  Mussolini becomes Italian dictator.
16 JAN:  Leon Trotsky ousted from Revolutionary Military Council in USSR.
1926
DEC:  Aleksander accepts engineering post as manager in the Roads Department at Suwa?ki’s Regional Office.
JULY / AUGUST 1926 (or possibly 1927): CM holidays in Krasnogruda, where he becomes besotted with his Aunt Gabriela.
12–14 MAY:  With several regiments behind him, Pi?sudski marches on Warsaw and wrests power from the President and government. He later becomes Minister for Defence.
19 OCT:  Joseph Stalin increasingly controls reins of power in USSR, isolating political enemies such as Trotsky before expelling them from the Politburo.
1927
14 NOV:  Trotsky expelled from Soviet Communist Party.
1928
Breakthrough in CM’s writing after joining PET.
20 MAY:  German election results enhance position of Social Democrats (153 seats), Communists (54), Nazis (12 seats).
1929
MAY:  Final school exams.
OCT:  CM enters Law School at Wilno University. Joins student Vagabonds’ Club.
24–29 OCT:  Wall Street Crash triggers worldwide economic depression.
1930
CM’s poems published in student magazine, Alma Mater Vilnensis. Joins ?agary, the Intellectuals’ Club, and Scholars’ Circle, whose chair is Manfred Kridl.
NOV:  CM meets the poet Jaros?aw Iwaszkiewicz at a reading in Wilno.
14 SEPT:  German election results: Social Democrats down to 143 seats, while Nazi Party gains 95, giving it a total of 107, which makes it second biggest party in the Reichstag.
1931
JAN:  CM visits Warsaw for the first time, staying with Iwaszkiewicz.
APR:  First edition of the monthly literary supplement ?agary appears.
MAY:  Travels across Europe to see Paris Colonial Exhibition. Meets Oskar Mi?osz for the first time; achieves instant rapport.
CM’s relationship begins with Jadwiga Waszkiewicz.
NOV:  Anti-Semitic attacks by right-wing group, M?odzie? Wszechpolska, on students at Wilno University. Targeting also of Jewish shops and a synagogue. CM and Teodor Bujnicki defend Jewish students.
DEC:  CM files an application to transfer to Department of Law at Warsaw University, but stays for only one semester.
21 MAR:  Austria and Germany plan to create a customs union.
15 JUNE:  Poland-USSR Treaty of Friendship and Commerce signed.
1932
MAR:  Contacts W?adys?aw Seby?a, editor of ZET, by letter, hoping to publish in the journal.
25 JAN:  Poland-USSR non-aggression pact.
24 APR:  Nazis become largest party in Reichstag.
31 JULY:  Nazis win 230 seats, Social Democrats 133, Communists 89.
6 NOV:  New German elections held because of deadlock; Nazis win 192 seats, Social Democrats 121, Communists 100.
8 NOV:  F. D. Roosevelt (Democrat) wins U.S. presidential election.
19 NOV:  Hindenburg invites Hitler to create coalition government, but the latter is unable to do so.
1933
5 FEB:  CM reads at anti-racist ‘Poetry of Protest’ event in Wilno.
30 JAN:  Hitler sworn in as German Chancellor.
27 FEB:  Reichstag fire. Nazis curtail civil rights and press freedom, blaming Communists for the blaze.
23 MAR:  In Germany, act is passed giving Hitler dictatorial powers until 1937.
1934
Graduates from Wilno University.
?agary breaks up as a poetic group.
CM wins a scholarship to Paris to study for one year. Frequent meetings with Oskar Mi?osz. Visits shelter for unemployed Poles in Levallois-Perret.
MAY–JULY:  Nazi regime suppresses trade unions, then all other political parties.
1935
JUNE:  CM attends International Congress for the Defense of Culture in Paris.
Ends his relationship with Jadwiga Waszkiewicz.
DEC:  Returns to Wilno.
JUL–AUG:  The People’s Front in Europe emerges, strategically supported by Stalin, with the aim of encouraging those opposed to growth of right-wing groups to abandon neutrality and align themselves against fascism.
1936
JAN:  A Letter to Defenders of Culture, an appeal against fascism, published.
Works on literary programmes for Polish Radio in Wilno, acting as secretary to Tadeusz Byrski.
Trzy Zimy / Three Winters (poetry) published by the Union of Polish Writers, CM paying for printing costs.
MAR:  In contravention of Versailles Agreement, German troops re-occupy the Rhineland.
MAY:  Formation of Popular Front government in France, a coalition of leftist parties.
JULY:  Beginning of Spanish Civil War, in which General Francisco Franco receives military support from Germany and Italy, while Soviet Union supports the elected leftist coalition government.
1937
Dismissed from Polish Radio in Wilno because of his leftist views.
APR:  Trip to Italy.
SUMMER:  Moves permanently to Warsaw.
WINTER:  Meets Janina (Janka) C?kalska at the radio station.
APR:  Guernica, in northern Spain’s Basque country bombed by Luftwaffe.
JUNE:  Stalin initiates army purge in USSR, executing a number of leading generals in the Red Army.
1938
AUG:  Visit to Kaunas (Kowno), where he becomes acquainted with literary circle around Naujoji Romuva.
12 MAR:  Anschluss. Austria becomes a state in the German Reich, following plebiscite on 10 Mar.
29–30 SEPT:  Munich Conference. British and French prime ministers accede to Hitler’s demands that Germany be allowed to occupy the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, on condition that the other Czechoslovak borders are respected.
9–10 NOV:  Kristallnacht. In Germany, Jewish business properties and homes attacked, with over 90 Jews killed.
1939
MAR:  Oskar Mi?osz dies.
JULY:  CM ill with severe flu, recuperates at his parents’ home in G??bokie. The rest of the summer spent in eastern Poland with Janka.
1 SEPT:  Invasion of Poland.
4 SEPT:  Evacuation of Polish Radio’s Warsaw HQ, which heads for Lublin, then Lwów. At outbreak of war, Janka is with her family outside Warsaw, so does not leave with radio staff.
9 SEPT:  Poet and CM’s friend, Józef Czechowicz, dies during the Nazi bombing of Lublin.
17 SEPT:  En route to Lwów, CM encounters Soviet Army. To avoid capture, flees to Romania.
Arranges permission to go to Lithuania; travels through Soviet territories to Wilno.
15 MAR:  Czechoslovakia’s thirty years of independence end as German troops occupy Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.
26–29 MAR:  After Franco’s forces capture Barcelona and Madrid, forces of the Spanish Republican government surrender.
31 MAR:  Britain and France guarantee to aid Poland in the event of it being subjected to attack, in the hope that this will deter a Nazi invasion.
18 APR:  USSR proposes a joint military alliance with Britain and France, which British PM Neville Chamberlain rejects on 1 May. Winston Churchill, no longer a minister, repeatedly argues for just such a pact. Joseph Davies, U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, suggests to his counterpart in London, Joseph Kennedy, that he can ‘tell Chamberlain from me that if they are not careful they will drive Stalin into Hitler’s arms’.
23 AUG:  Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Soviet Union and Nazi Germany sign secret protocols allowing for partition of Poland.
1 SEPT:  Nazi invasion of Poland, leading to outbreak of Second World War.
4 SEPT:  Polish government personnel leave Warsaw.
17 SEPT:  Soviet invasion and occupation of eastern Poland.
Soviet secret police (NKVD) arrest and imprison tens of thousands of Polish officers.
Polish government flees to Romania with the idea of creating a government-in-exile in Paris.
1940
Leaves Lithuania on perilous journey to reach Warsaw to rejoin Janka.
Works at the Warsaw University Library to save books.
SEPT:  Publishes, under pseudonym, Poems, a 28-page booklet.
10–11 APR:  German forces march into Denmark and invade Norway.
10 MAY:  Winston Churchill becomes British PM.
10–14 MAY:  German forces occupy Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
MAY:  Execution of over 20,000 Polish officers in Katyń on Stalin’s orders. (When in 1941, following German invasion of USSR, Polish General W?adys?aw Anders requests that these officers be allowed to join the army he is creating, he is told first that they had escaped to Manchuria, and then subsequently that they were executed by the Germans in MAY 1941.)
15 JUNE:  Red Army invades Lithuania, and, after rigging election results, incorporates it within the Soviet Union.
17 JUNE:  Free French leader General Charles de Gaulle escapes to Britain.
22 JUNE:  France’s new Prime Minister, Marshal Pétain, signs armistice with Germany, and in July becomes President of Vichy France.
10 JULY–31:  Oct: Battle of Britain. Royal Air Force loses 915 planes, German Luftwaffe 1,733 planes.
1941
22 JUNE:  Nazi Germany invades the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa).
8 SEPT:  Siege of Leningrad by German forces (lasts until January 1944).
7–8 DEC:  Japanese air force attacks U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbour, then attacks U.S. possessions in the Pacific.
8 DEC:  U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan.
1942
CM edits for underground press the anthology Invincible Song: Polish Poetry of War Time, and publishes his translation of Jacques Maritain’s ‘A travers le désastre’.
Attends clandestine philosophy seminars.
20 JAN:  At Wannsee Conference, 15 Nazi leaders meet to determine what form ‘the final solution of the Jewish Question’ should take. Plans to deport Jews to Madagascar abandoned in favour of a Europe-wide roundup and internment in labour camps designed to exterminate large numbers through ‘natural diminution’.
27 MAY:  Assassination in Prague of Reichs-Protektor Reinhard Heydrich, one of the architects of the Final Solution.
10 JUNE:  In revenge for Heydrich’s killing, Nazis raze the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia, killing 173 men and 52 women.
17–21 JUNE:  Washington Conference: Roosevelt and Churchill meet to review war strategy.
23 OCT–4 NOV:  British 8th Army defeats Germans at Battle of El Alamein, Egypt.
1943
With his brother Andrzej, finds hiding places in Warsaw and financially supports two Jewish families.
Composes the sequence ‘The World: A Na?ve Poem’, plus ‘Voices of Poor People’ and ‘Campo dei Fiori’.
31 JAN:  Germans, under General von Paulus, surrender at Stalingrad, after Red Army encircles them.
19 APR–16 MAY:  Rising in the Warsaw Ghetto. Over 28 days, 40,000 Jews killed or deported to concentration camps.
25 APR:  Soviet Union breaks off diplomatic relations with Polish Government-in-Exile, accusing latter of falsely blaming USSR for Katyń massacre after mass graves discovered near Smolensk by Germans.
11 MAY:  Washington Conference. Roosevelt and Churchill decide on strategy, including sequence for the invasion of Italy, starting with Sicily.
4 JULY:  General Sikorski, Head of Polish Government-in-Exile, dies in plane crash near Gibraltar.
4–20 JULY:  Germans attack Kursk salient, in what becomes biggest tank battle in history. Soviet counter-attack results in end to any further German advances on eastern front of USSR.
12 AUG:  Roosevelt and Churchill meet in U.S. and discuss co-operation in development of atom bomb.
3 SEPT:  Italy surrenders to Allies. Germans capture Rome.
1944
OCT:  After the defeat of the Warsaw Rising, CM and Janka escape to southern Poland, to Goszyce, staying with Jerzy Turowicz, future editor of Tygodnik Powszechny.
17 JAN–18 MAY:  Monte Cassino, Italy. Long battle to oust German defenders from strategic location on hilltop monastery. Fourth attack, led by Polish troops, succeeds. Allied troops able to advance through Italy.
6 JUNE:  D-Day. Allied landings in Normandy, beginning of liberation of France and western Europe.
22 JULY:  Soviet Army enters Lublin, where a Communist-headed Polish government is established, in opposition to the London-based Government-in-Exile.
The nearby Majdanek concentration camp discovered, which the Germans hurriedly attempted to demolish, though gas chambers remained intact.
1 AUG–2 OCT:  Warsaw Rising, led by General ‘Bor’ Komorowski of the Armia Krajowa, loyal to London-based Polish Government-in-Exile. Soviets block supplies from the western Allies. Subsequently Germans drive the population of Warsaw out of the city before systematically destroying it.
6 and 18 OCT:  Soviet Army moves successively into Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
7 NOV:  Roosevelt re-elected as U.S. President.
1945
CM joins Writers’ Union.
FEB:  Appointed a regular contributor to Dziennik Polski.
Translates Blake, Milton, Wordsworth and Browning.
Death of his mother, Weronika, near Gdańsk.
Enters Polish Diplomatic Service.
Publishes Ocalenie / Rescue (poetry) to acclaim.
DEC:  Meets T. S. Eliot while staying in London, before setting off for America.
Appointed cultural attaché at Polish embassy in New York.
27 JAN:  Soviet forces enter Auschwitz concentration camp.
4–11 FEB:  Yalta Conference. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin agree on a Provisional Government of National Unity for Poland, in which Communists and non-Communists would be represented. The Soviet Union’s annexation of eastern areas of Poland accepted as a fait accompli by America and Britain, and, in compensation for those losses, Poles from these regions are to be resettled in territories stripped from Germany.
12 APR:  Roosevelt dies. Harry S. Truman, the Vice-President, assumes U.S. presidency.
30 APR:  Suicide of Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, in the Chancellor’s Berlin bunker.
7 MAY:  Germany surrenders. Thereafter, the west of the country is divided into British, French and U.S. zones.
6 AUG:  U.S. drops atom bomb on Hiroshima.
9 AUG:  A second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, leading to Japanese surrender 14 August.
1946
Diplomatic service appointment in Washington, D.C.
30 SEPT:  Verdicts in Nuremberg trials of Nazi prisoners announced. Amongst the 10 leading officials condemned to death are von Ribbentrop and Hermann Goering, who, on 15 Oct, commits suicide before he can be executed.
1947
Birth of first son, Antoni.
JUNE:  U.S. President Truman appoints General George Marshall as Secretary of State. The Marshall Plan provides $13 billion in aid to help rebuild Europe after the war. Stalin blocks Eastern European countries from applying for aid.
1948
‘Treatise on Morality’ appears in Twórczo??.
Polish United Workers Party (PZPR) founded.
25 JULY:  Allies mount the Berlin Airlift, following Soviet blockade of the city.
1949
Visits Poland briefly.
1950
Appointed to post of First Secretary in Polish embassy, Paris. His family remains in the U.S. On visit to Warsaw, because his loyalty to the regime is doubted, Mi?osz’s passport is confiscated.
9 JAN:  Senator Joseph McCarthy claims that over 200 Communists are working in U.S. State Department.
25 JUNE:  Korean War. North Korea invades South Korea.
JULY:  UN responds by sending military forces from sixteen member states, though most troops are from the U.S.
1951
1 FEB:  Seeks political asylum in France, and receives great support from Jerzy Giedroyc, Józef Czapski, and Zofia and Zygmunt Hertz, staying in Maisons-Lafitte, home of the Polish émigré press, Kultura.
Begins multiple attempts to gain an American visa to rejoin family in U.S. Birth of second son, Piotr.
MAY:  His work begins to appear in Kultura, starting with his article ‘Nie’. Meets Stanis?aw Vincenz.
6 DEC:  Proposal from West and East Germany to involve UN in organising free elections in Germany blocked by Stalin.
1952
Develops friendship with Albert Camus, one of his few French intellectual supporters.
Meets and begins relationship with Jeanne Hersch.
15 JAN:  Treaty proposal from U.S., Britain and France that Austria become an independent state, which USSR rejects in AUGUST.
20 NOV:  Boles?aw Bierut, for previous five years Polish President, elected Polish PM.
1953
Publishes The Captive Mind (non-fiction).
MAR:  Awarded Prix Littéraire Européen (European Literary Prize) for The Seizure of Power (novel).
12 JULY:  Janka and the children arrive in France.
5 MAR:  Death of Stalin.
12 SEPT:  Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party in USSR.
26 SEPT:  Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński placed under house arrest, which lasts for next three years.
1954
30 JULY:  U.S. Senate sets up a committee to investigate Senator McCarthy’s activities. In DECEMBER its findings are announced and he is censured.
1955
Publishes The Issa Valley (fiction).
SEPT:  Attends ‘The Future of Freedom’ conference, which was organised by the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
5, 9 MAY:  End of Allied occupation of West Germany, which joins NATO.
14 MAY:  Warsaw Pact established, with its command HQ in Moscow.
1956
13 JAN:  Janka and CM marry in a church in Paris.
25 FEB:  Khrushchev denounces Stalin for ‘despotism’ and promoting the ‘cult of personality’ at closed session of Twentieth Communist Party Conference. He points out how, in the late 1930s, 98 out of 139 Central Committee members were arrested and shot. The speech is made public on 18 MAR.
28 JUNE:  Uprising in Poznań violently suppressed, on instructions from Polish Minister of Defence, Rokossowski; 60 killed, over 200 wounded.
24 OCT–DEC:  Hungarian Uprising. Imre Nagy forms government which includes non-Communists. Khrushchev agrees to Soviet Army withdrawal on 28 OCTOBER, then after Nagy introduces liberalisation and announces Hungary will leave Warsaw Pact, USSR invades on 4 Nov with 1,000 tanks.
An estimated 4,000 Hungarians killed resisting invasion.
5 NOV:  Britain and France invade Egypt to seize control of the Suez Canal, which its President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, had nationalised. U.S. pressure leads to the withdrawal of British and French forces.
2 DEC:  Fidel and Raul Castro and Che Guevara land on east coast of Cuba to launch guerrilla campaign against the country’s head of state, General Batista.
1957
The family buys a house in Montgeron.
Publishes Traktat poetycki / A Poetical Treatise (poetry).
6 FEB:  Decolonisation. Gold Coast becomes first African country to gain independence from Britain; renames itself Ghana.
25 MAR:  Treaty of Rome establishing the European Economic Community (EEC) signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Holland.
OCT:  USSR launches first satellite, Sputnik 1.
1958
14–15 SEPT:  Historic meeting between German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French PM Charles de Gaulle.
1959
Death of Aleksander Mi?osz.
Publishes Letter to Polish Communists.
Publishes Rodzinna Europa / Native Realm (memoir).
1 JAN:  President Batista flees from Cuba. Fidel Castro becomes Prime Minister.
1960
Offered post at UC Berkeley; appointed a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literature.
9 SEPT:  Arrives in San Francisco.
1 MAY:  USSR downs a U-2 spy plane flying over the Urals, capturing the pilot, Gary Powers.
7 MAY:  Leonid Brezhnev becomes President of USSR.
16–19 MAY:  Paris Summit. Khrushchev clashes with U.S., British and French leaders (Eisenhower, Macmillan and de Gaulle), citing U-2 incident.
SEPT:  Khrushchev addresses UN on issues of decolonisation and disarmament.
8 NOV:  John F. Kennedy wins U.S. presidential election.
1961
Promoted to Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at UC Berkeley.
12 APR:  Yuri Gagarin of USSR becomes first human being to orbit the earth.
17–18 AUG:  Berlin Wall erected by East Germany.
1962
JUNE:  Granted green card.
His aunt, Gabriela Kunat, dies in Sopot.
Family takes a trip to Europe, including visits to France, Switzerland and Italy.
Publishes King Popiel and Other Poems (poetry)
22–28 OCT:  Cuban Missile Crisis, following U.S. discovery that USSR is supplying nuclear missiles in Cuba. World on brink of nuclear war before Khrushchev withdraws missiles. President Kennedy’s prestige increases amongst western Allies.
1963
22 JAN:  De Gaulle and Adenauer sign Franco-German treaty to increase co-operation.
29 JAN:  Britain denied entry to EEC.
23–27 JUN:  President Kennedy’s visit to West Germany; includes famous ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ address.
28 AUG:  Martin Luther King Jr. leads civil rights demonstration in Washington; ‘I have a dream’ speech.
22 NOV:  Assassination of President Kennedy.
1964
5 OCT:  Martin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize.
15 OCT:  Leonid Brezhnev replaces Khrushchev as First Secretary in USSR.
3 NOV:  Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) elected U.S. President.
1965
Edits and publishes Postwar Polish Poetry (anthology).
Publishes Bobo’s Metamorphosis (poetry).
7 FEB:  U.S. planes begin bombing North Vietnam.
21 MAR:  Martin Luther King Jr. organises Selma-to-Montgomery march.
1966
2 APR:  Disturbances in Saigon, where protesters call for end of military rule.
6, 11 JULY:  50 captured U.S. airmen paraded in Hanoi.
USSR increases aid to North Vietnam.
13 DEC:  U.S. raid on Hanoi kills more than 100 civilians.
1967
London’s Oficyna Poetów i Malarzy publishes CM’s Wiersze (Poems).
5–10 JUNE:  Six-Day War between Israel and Arab states, who are supported by USSR.
21 OCT:  Protests against Vietnam War in Washington, London and other cities.
1968
Native Realm published in U.S.
Publishes City without a Name (poetry).
4 JAN:  U.S. troop numbers in Vietnam reach 486,000.
5 JAN:  Alexander Dubcek becomes First Secretary of Czechoslovakia Communist Party.
8 MAR:  Student protests brutally repressed in Poland.
16 MAR:  My Lai massacre in Vietnam. Over 100 civilians killed by U.S. troops.
4 APR:  Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
14, 17 MAY:  Dubcek initiates a programme of liberalising measures called the Prague Spring. Andrei Kosygin, Prime Minister of USSR, visits Prague for talks.
5 JUNE:  Assassination of Robert Kennedy.
3 AUG:  During visit to Bratislava, Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet leader, announces what comes to be called the Brezhnev Doctrine, which asserts the right of the USSR to intervene in any Communist state if the Party’s monopoly of power is under threat.
20 AUG:  Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact countries.
5 NOV:  Richard Nixon (Republican) elected U.S. President.
1969
Publishes The History of Polish Literature (non-fiction) and Visions from San Francisco Bay (essays).
16 JAN:  In protest against the military occupation of Czechoslovakia by USSR, a student, Jan Palach, burns himself to death in Prague.
JUNE-SEPT:  55,000 U.S. troops withdrawn from Vietnam.
20 JUL:  Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, land the lunar module, Eagle, on the moon.
3 NOV:  Nixon promises complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
17 NOV:  Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between U.S. and USSR begin in Helsinki.
1970
CM becomes U.S. citizen.
APR:  President Nixon authorises bombing of Cambodia.
MAY:  Shooting of four unarmed students at Kent State University by Ohio National Guard.
12 DEC:  Polish government announces steep food price increases.
16 DEC:  Killing of strikers in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sczeczin shipyards by Polish government forces.
Wladys?aw Gomu?ka resigns as First Secretary of PZPR (Polish United Workers’ Party), replaced by Edward Gierek.
1971
10 MAR:  Jews in USSR demand right to emigrate.
31 MAR:  U.S. Lieutenant William Calley imprisoned for role in My Lai massacre in Vietnam.
1972
21–27 FEB:  President Nixon’s trip to China.
4 APR:  Winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, denied visa by USSR to attend ceremony in Stockholm.
7 NOV:  Richard Nixon re-elected as U.S. President.
1973
Selected Poems published by Seabury Press in New York.
1 JAN:  Britain, Ireland and Denmark join European Community.
8 JAN:  Watergate break-in trials open.
27 JAN:  Vietnam cease-fire agreement signed in Paris.
25 JUNE:  Nixon’s involvement in Watergate break-in revealed to Senate committee.
SEPT:  General Pinochet mounts coup in Chile, ousting the elected President Allende.
1974
1975
 
1976
From the Rising of the Sun (poems) published.
13 FEB:  Aleksander Solzhenitsyn deported from USSR.
9 AUG:  President Nixon resigns.
11 FEB:  Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party.
24 JUNE:  Strikes in Radom and Ursus in response to government’s increase in food prices.
SEPT:  Founding of KOR (Workers’ Defence Committee). Key members include Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuron.
OCT:  During presidential debate, U.S. President Gerald Ford claims that ‘there is no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe’.
NOV:  Jimmy Carter (Democrat) wins U.S. presidential election.
1977
Utwory Poetickie published by Slavic Dept., University of Michigan.
Publishes Ziemia Ulro / The Land of Ulro (non-fiction).
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by University of Michigan. Mi?osz among the leading international literary figures who campaign to enable Lithuanian poet Tomas Venclova to leave the Soviet Union in 1977.
1978
CM winner of Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
On retirement made Professor Emeritus at Berkeley.
Publishes Bells in Winter (poetry).
16 OCT:  Karol Wojty?a of Kraków elected Pope; he becomes John Paul II.
1979
Publishes The Separate Notebooks 1977–79 (poems and prose).
The Book of Ecclesiastes published for the first time in Tygodnik Powszechny, followed by The Book of Wisdom, Psalms, and The Book of Job.
4 MAY:  Margaret Thatcher becomes British Prime Minister.
2–10 JUNE:  John Paul II’s triumphant visit to Poland.
1980
DEC:  CM winner of Nobel Prize for Literature.
Receives congratulatory telegram from Pope John Paul II.
14–31 AUG:  Strikes in shipyards of Gdańsk and along Baltic coast lead to emergence of Solidarity, first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc.
4 NOV:  Ronald Reagan (Republican) elected U.S. President.
DEC:  Three Crosses Monument in Gdańsk unveiled, dedicated to murdered shipyard workers of 1970.
1981
JUNE:  CM’s first visit to Poland since 1951.
Visits Three Crosses Monument in Gdańsk.
9 FEB:  General Jaruzelski becomes Polish PM.
27 MAR:  Solidarity branded ‘counter-revolutionary’ by USSR.
CM readmitted as member of Polish Literary Society (Zwi?zek Literatów Polskich).
13 MAY:  Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in Rome.
23 JULY:  Polish government reduces rations and increases food prices.
4 NOV:  Crisis discussions involving General Jaruzelski, Lech Wa??sa, and Cardinal Glemp.
13 DEC:  General Jaruzelski, head of Polish Communist government, imposes martial law, banning Solidarity.
1982
Publishes Hymn o Perle / Hymn of the Pearl (poetry) and Visions from San Francisco Bay, trans. Richard Lourie (prose).
Delivers Norton Lectures at Harvard University.
Meets Carol Thigpen.
31 JAN:  U.S. Department of Information film Let Poland Be Poland broadcast worldwide.
1 MAY:  Solidarity supporters protest against martial law.
10 OCT:  U.S. imposes trade sanctions on Poland.
19 DEC:  Martial law in Poland ends.
1983
Publishes The Witness of Poetry (non-fiction).
23 FEB:  President Reagan puts forward idea of “Star Wars” missile defence system.
5 OCT:  Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Lech Wa??sa.
1984
Publishes Nieobj?ta ziemia / Unattainable Earth (poetry).
The Separate Notebooks, trans. Robert Hass and Robert Pinsky (poetry and prose).
19 OCT:  Murder of pro-Solidarity priest Father Jerzy Popie?uszko by four Secret Service agents.
1985
Publishes Bells in Winter (poetry).
11 MAR:  Mikhail Gorbachev becomes First Secretary of the USSR Communist Party. Stresses need for greater openness, glasnost.
1986
Private audience with Pope John Paul II, in Rome.
Death of his first wife, Janina.
APR:  Chernobyl nuclear disaster near Kiev in Ukraine.
SEPT:  Amnesty for political prisoners in Poland.
11 OCT:  Arms limitation discussions in Reykjavik end without agreement.
1987
Chronicles.
15–17 SEPT:  U.S.-USSR agreement on getting rid of intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
1988
Collected Poems 1931–1987 published.
8 FEB:  USSR announces decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan from MAY onwards.
31 AUG:  Talks between Lech Wa??sa and Interior Minister General Kiszczak about resolving Polish crisis.
1 OCT:  Gorbachev elected President of USSR.
8 NOV:  George H. W. Bush (Republican) wins U.S. presidential election.
1989
Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Harvard University.
Return visit to Poland.
FEB–5 APR:  Round Table Talks between Polish Communist government and the Opposition.
FEB:  Vaclav Havel imprisoned in Czechoslovakia.
4 JUNE:  Sweeping victory for Solidarity in elections.
24 AUG:  Tadeusz Mazowiecki becomes Polish Prime Minister, first non-Communist PM since war.
In Baltic states, 50th anniversary of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact marked by protest of 2 million citizens.
9 NOV:  Berlin Wall falls.
10 DEC:  ‘Velvet Revolution’ in Czechoslovakia. First new government without Communist majority takes office. On 29 DECEMBER Vaclav Havel elected President.
22–25 DEC:  Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceausescu overthrown.
1990
Rok my?liwego published.
FEB: USSR Communist Party Central Committee opts to end its political monopoly.
11 MAR: Lithuania declares its independence from USSR.
4, 8 MAY: Latvia and Estonia declare their independence from USSR.
3 OCT: Reunification of Germany.
9 DEC: Lech Wa??sa elected Polish President.
1991
Provinces (poetry).
Visit to Lithuania for first time since 1939.
JAN: Soviet troops invade Lithuania, killing 13 civilians.
JUNE: Boris Yeltsin becomes President of the new Russian Federation.
SEPT: Soviet Union recognises Lithuanian independence.
1992
Marries Carol Thigpen.
1993
Moves to Kraków for good.
1 JAN: Czechoslovakia splits to become the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
7 APR: After Bosnia and Herzegovina declare independence, Bosnian Serbs fire on Sarajevo. Bosnian War continues till 1995.
1995
Publishes Facing the River (poetry).
JULY: Following Bosnian Serbs’ capture of Srebrenica, a so-called UN safe haven, over 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys are massacred.
1997
Publishes Striving towards Being: The Letters of Thomas Merton and Czes?aw Mi?osz, ed. Robert Faggen.
1998
Publishes Road-Side Dog, trans. Czes?aw Mi?osz and Robert Hass.
Ogród nauk (Garden of Science).
Zaraz po wojnie (Straight after the War).
Death of Zbigniew Herbert.
5 MAR: Fighting breaks out in Kosovo, where Serbs attack ethnic Albanians.
10 APR: Good Friday Agreement signed in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1999
Death of Jerzy Turowicz.
MAR: Peace talks over Kosovo fail, resulting in NATO air strikes being carried out on Belgrade.
2000
Death of Jerzy Giedroyc.
Magic Mountain (documentary).
Publishes This (poetry).
NOV: George W. Bush elected U.S. President after protracted dispute over election results.
2001
To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays, trans. and ed. Bogdana Carpenter and Madeline G. Levine.
Publishes Rok my?liwego (A Year of the Hunter).
11 SEPT: Attack on World Trade Center and Pentagon by Islamist extremists.
OCT: U.S. and British governments attack Taliban regime and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
2002
Publishes Druga przestrzeń / Second Space (poetry).
13 MAY: U.S. and Russian Federation agreement to destroy two-thirds of nuclear weapons.
Mi?osz’s ABC, trans. Madeline G. Levine (prose).
Death of Carol, his second wife.
26 OCT: Chechen rebels kill 116 hostages in Moscow theatre.
2003
Publishes New and Collected Poems 1931–2001, trans. Robert Hass.
19 MAR: Invasion of Iraq by U.S. and UK–led coalition.
2004
Publishes O podró?ach w czasie (About Journeys through Time).
14 AUG: Mi?osz dies in Kraków.
NOV–26 DEC: Disputed election result in Ukraine. Eventually Viktor Yushchenko declared PM, defeating Viktor Yanukovych, who supported closer ties with Russia.
2006
Zaczynaj?c od moich ulic (Beginning with My Streets).
2011
Selected and Last Poems, 1931–2004, selected by Robert Hass and Anthony Mi?osz.
Polish Parliament (Sejm) announces establishment of a Year of Czes?aw Mi?osz.
Many of the exact dates in the above chronology are drawn from Chronology of the Twentieth Century, ed. Philip Waller and John Rowett (Oxford: Helicon, 1995).
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