Czesław Miłosz

Garbės daktaras / Honorary Doctor (Suteiktas vardas 1991-09-18)

It is good to be born in a small country where Nature was on a human scale, where various languages and religions cohabited for centuries. I have in mind Lithuania, a country of myths and of poetry. (From Czesław Miłosz’s Nobel rize acceptance speech in 1980)

Czesław Miłosz was born on June 30, 1911 in Šeteniai (Kėdainiai Distr.). He started learning in the Zygmunt August gymnasium in Vilnius in 1921 and graduated from the Faculty of Law in Vilnius’ Stefan Batory University in 1934. In 1937 he moved to Warsaw, where he lived through the years of the second World War. After the war ended, Miłosz became a diplomatic attaché for Poland in New York and Washington, but suffered from the growing oppression in the communist Poland. After being assigned to Paris in 1951, he requested political refuge there. For ten years, he lived and wrote in France. In 1960, he moved to North California in the USA and worked at the University of California in Berkeley. The poet, writer and literature scientist Czesław Miłosz received the Nobel Prize in 1980. In 1992, he was awarded the title of VMU Honorary Doctor. Miłosz died at the age of 93 on August 14, 2004 in Kraków, Poland and was laid to rest in that town as well. Miłosz’s works have been translated into 42 languages.