The images preserved by a cultural elite undoubtedly also have political significanse as they influence the decisions of the groups that govern, and it is no wonder that the statesmen who signed the Yalta agreement so easily wrote off a hundered million Europeans from these blank areas in the loss column. Perhaps it was then that a definite break occured on the Weat-East axis, and the Parisian intellectuals, used to having their ideas and books admired for their universality beyond the Vistula, the Dnieper and the Danube, woke up to find themselves sentenced to provincialism.

Czeslaw Milosz The Witness of Poetry/Poesiens Vitne