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Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski
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Inhuman Land

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Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski
Paperback $22.95
Dec 18, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372563

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Praise

“This gentle, tenacious, adamantine figure has been far too little known in the West—until now. New York Review Books recently published a moving and strikingly original biography by Eric Karpeles, Almost Nothing: The 20th-Century Art and Life of Józef Czapski; a new translation by Antonia Lloyd-Jones of Inhuman Land: Searching for the Truth in Soviet Russia, 1941-42; and Mr. Karpeles’s translation of Czapski’s Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp. Together these books document Czapski’s physical and spiritual survival during a nightmare era, but, more than that, they re-create an overlooked life, one marked by an exemplary measure of modesty, moral clarity and artistic richness. Moreover, Mr. Karpeles, a California-based painter and art critic, has ignited international interest in Czapski’s artwork.” —Cynthia Haven, The Wall Street Journal

“The Polish painter and writer Józef Czapski lived through almost the entire twentieth century as an exception to the rule. A pacifist who became a Polish army officer being deported to a Soviet prison camp in 1939, he was one of very few to survive the Katyn massacre perpetrated by Stalin’s secret police the following year….He was both a patriot and a European in the deepest sense, with friends and family connections across the continent. In this year’s centenary of independence regained, a new generation of Poles in a country at the crossroads must decide whether Czapski’s vision will also be theirs.” —Stanley Bill, Times Literary Supplement

Inhuman Land is a gripping and heartrending depiction of the Soviet Union at war in the years 1941–43. Equipped with a perfect knowledge of Russian, Józef Czapski was able to describe the USSR in all its cruel complexity, alert both to the brutality of Soviet power and the generosity of ordinary Russians. Here Czapski reveals himself as one of the great witnesses of the twentieth century.” —Anka Muhlstein

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