Tender toward innocence, tough-minded when faced with brutality and injustice, Milosz could be at one moment susceptible, at another remorseless. Now he is evoking the dewy eroticism of some adolescent girl haunting the grounds of a Lithuanian manor house, now he is anatomizing the traits of character and misdirected creative gifts that led some of his contemporaries into the Marxist web. From start to finish, merciless analytic power coexisted with helpless sensuous relish. He recollects the fresh bread smells on the streets of Paris when he was a student at the same moment as he summons up the faces of fellow students from Indochina, young revolutionaries preparing to seize power and "kill in the name of the universal beautiful ideas." Book jacket.