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This article is taken from PN Review 247, Volume 45 Number 5, May - June 2019.

Exile: Part III André Naffis-Sahely
ALTHOUGH IT TOOK only twenty years for Poland to be partitioned, it would require over one hundred and twenty years to be put back together.* As the translator Boris Dralyuk has noted, the result of those invasions was that ‘the story of modern Polish literature to a large extent’ became ‘a story of exile’ and that while Poland died as a political entity, it survived in the works of Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855) who was born in what became Russian Lithuania in the year of the Third Partition and who died in Constantinople in 1855. A poem penned by Mickiewicz in either 1839 or 1840, but never published, shows him having grown listless to his surroundings, after long, peripatetic years in Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, nevertheless retaining a hold on the spiritual Poland in his heart: ‘I have a country, homeland of my thoughts, / where my heart has innumerable kin: / a land more fair than what I see before me, / a family more dear than anything.’

Going by Newton’s Third Law, it is little wonder that the Age of Nations would produce the internationalist socialist movement, and it is even less surprising that the cosmopolitan component of that progressive ideology would attract the spleen of patriots and jingoists everywhere. On 11 July 1917, executives of the Phelps Dodge corporation, which ran the copper mines and border town of Bisbee, Arizona, like a medieval fief, colluded with Harry Wheeler, the local sheriff, to deport over a thousand miners who had been on a peaceful week-long strike for better ...


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