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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Ships from AMAZON in Shrink Wrap. "Very Good" condition. As pictured. Ex-Lib with protective MYLAR. Usual Lib markings. Pages clean/bright. Some shelf wear. Shipped with Delivery Confirmation.
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Passing By: Selected Essays 1962-1991 Hardcover – November 24, 1992

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to his widow, Polish emigre novelist Kosinski had been working on this collection of essays, lectures and fragments when he committed suicide in Manhattan in 1991. While the selections would be improved by contextualizing introductions, they portray a man who was impassioned about literature and who saw his role as confronting "life's threatening encounters." He finds inspiration, he writes, from an intertwining of the Polish, Hasidic and American literary traditions, and considers America "the last society which still modifies itself freely." He rails against the "collectivism" nourished by television and radio, and criticizes North American Jews for memorializing the Holocaust but not Jewish achievements. Other essays touch on his experiences learning polo, acting in the film Reds , living in New York City and visiting Poland in the late 1980s. Most interesting are his discussions of the original ideas behind The Painted Bird and the structure of Steps.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

This is a collection of writings that answers many questions about the author's book and offers a revealing and provocative self-portrait by an author whose life was shrouded in enigma. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (November 24, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679413898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679413899
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,363,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Polish emigre who survived numerous horrors as a Jewish child during World War II, Jerzy Kosinski escaped the Holocaust, as well as communism, becoming a celebrated American writer of often bleak, haunting, and nightmarish works. The sardonic author of The Pained Bird, Steps, Pinball, and Being There consciously created an aura of mystery with his "autofictional" novels and flamboyant lifestyle. Kosinski's 1991 suicide, following a period of declining healthy and increasing literary criticism, shocked many of his firneds - and added to enigmatic image as a cult figure.
Passing By:Selected Essays, 1962-1991, Kosinski's post-humous book of previously published and unpublished writings, claims to answer many questions about his controversial life. Partially compiled by himself and finished by his wife and two friends, Passing By contains 51 literary essays, magazine articles, New York Times op-ed pieces, and political speeches organized in ten chapters rangigng from "Life and Art" and "Self vs. Collective" to "People, Places, and Me" and "The Sporty Self."
One of many surprising, and fascinating, chapters is titled "God &" where Kosinski reflects on his persecution as a child and his "spiritual inheritance" as a "circumcised Catholic." "I'm a missionary to only one particular life: the life within me; and I proselytize only one faith: my faith in the sanctity of life."
Given Kosinski's intimate writings about painful childhood memories and erotic adult fantasies, however, Passing By maintains a strange silence on his private life. The only direct reference to the author's suicide, for example, is on the book jacket. No defense, explanation, or context for Kosinski's decision can be found.
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