(Poland, 1945-2021) is seen as one of the world's best authors and as pre-eminent representative of the post-war writers generation. He studied psychology and philosophy in Krakow and was a member of the Polish Nouvelle Vague/Generation of '68. After signing a protest letter against the Polish government (Letter of 59), his work was banned in Poland. Zagajewski mostly writes poetry and essays. Recurring themes include the night, dreams, history and time, eternity and infinty, silence and death; he is known as a true "metaphysical poet". Much of his work has been translated into English. He has taught at institutions such as the University of Houston, and since 2007 has been a guest professor at the University of Chicago. His 2016 volume of poetry is titled Airport in Amsterdam.(WN 2019)
Archive available for: Adam Zagajewski
Adam Zagajewski, one of the greatest Polish poets of our time, and Luuk van Middelaar, an idiosyncratic political philosopher with close intellectual ties to Brussels, discussed how we can provide Europe with new words, images and visions so that the EU can win (back) the hearts and minds of its citizens. They also read from texts which, to them, perfectly express the European feeling. Belgian cultural historian and writer David Van Reybrouck, one of the most celebrated European thinkers of his generation, moderated the debate. English spoken.
Adam Zagajewski, eminent poet and essayist from Poland, opened Friday Night Unlimited by reading from his work. Subsequently Ramayana expert Arshia Sattar (India) and Dutch writer and philosopher Joke Hermsen spoke about the desire to live longer. Sattar translated and rewrote the ancient story cycle about the mythical struggle of Prince Rama to win back his beloved Sita from the hands of the demonic King Ravana. In her book Stilling Time, Hermsen argues for a slow future in which waiting, restfulness and bordom have their place; in her essay Melancholie van de onrust (Melancholy of Unrest), she elaborates on the blessings of melancholy, among others as source of creativity. With classical Persian music and poetry performed by Balout Khazraei. Fouad Laroui, writer and professor French language and Arabic cultures at the University of Amsterdam, hosted the conversation.