My Half-Century: Selected Prose

Overview

Anna Akhmatova is known as one of twentieth-century Russia's greatest poets, a member of the quartet that included Mandelstam, Pasternak, and Tsvetaeva. This is the first paperback collection of her prose available in English. The subjects of her memoirs are extraordinary: she describes Modigliani as she knew him in Paris, Blok near the end of his days, and Mandelstam as a close friend. The autobiographical prose section reveals the elusive poet's personality more clearly than any biography could, including her ...
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Overview

Anna Akhmatova is known as one of twentieth-century Russia's greatest poets, a member of the quartet that included Mandelstam, Pasternak, and Tsvetaeva. This is the first paperback collection of her prose available in English. The subjects of her memoirs are extraordinary: she describes Modigliani as she knew him in Paris, Blok near the end of his days, and Mandelstam as a close friend. The autobiographical prose section reveals the elusive poet's personality more clearly than any biography could, including her thoughts about how difficult it was to be a poet at a time when women writers were rarely taken seriously.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Voice of her generation and prophet of Russia's misery, poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) was touched by personal tragedies. Her first husband, poet Nikolai Gumilyov, was executed on the false charge of treason in 1921; their son Lev spent years in prison and exile. Herself vilified in the press, censored, isolated, plagued by tuberculosis, Akhmatova eked out a living as a translator until her belated recognition came in the 1960s. This kaleidoscopic selection of her prose includes autobiographical fragments, letters, essays on Pushkin, a rousing 1941 wartime broadcast to the women of Leningrad, diatribes against the Stalinist cultural establishment and encounters with Modigliani, Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak and Alexander Blok. Akhmatova's quicksilver prose registers a resilient personality. Meyer, a Columbia University scholar, provides a useful biographical sketch and notes. Photos. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810114852
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 345
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on the Text
A Biographical Sketch
Pages form a Diary 1
Briefly about Myself 25
Reviewing the Past 29
On the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Literary Career 30
Random Notes 34
On the History of Acmeism 36
Nikolai Gumilyov and Acmeism 42
1910 44
Clearing Up a Misunderstanding 46
Rosary 48
White Flock 52
Anno Domini 54
On Petersburg Winters 55
Pseudo-Memoirs 59
Excerpts from the Last Diary Entries 61
Alexander Blok 69
Mikhail Lozinsky 73
Amedeo Modigliani 76
Osip Mandelstam 84
Innokenty Annensky 110
Nikolai Gumilyov 112
Boris Pasternak 120
Marina Tsvetaeva 121
Titsian Tabidze and Paolo Yashvili 123
Prose About the Poem 127
The Ballet Libretto 139
A Word about Pushkin 147
Pushkin's Last Tale 149
The Tale of the Golden Cockerel. Commentary 171
Benjamin Constant's Adolphe in Pushkin's Work 179
Pushkin's Stone Guest 200
Pushkin's Death 215
Alexandrina 232
Pushkin and the Banks of the Neva 244
On Nadezhda Lvova's Poetry 255
Work in Progress 257
An Address Broadcast on the Program "This Is Radio Leningrad" 259
A Radio Broadcast on the Anniversary of Pushkin's Birth 260
Notes in the Margin 261
Pushkin and Children 264
A Word about Dante 266
Letters
To Sergei von Shtein 271
To Valery Bryusov 283
To Alexander Blok 284
To Pavel Shchegolyov 284
To Nikolai Gumilyov 285
To Georgy Chulkov 286
To Anastasia Chebotaryevskaya 288
To Fyodor Sologub 289
To Anna Gumilyova 290
To Vladimir Shileiko 291
To Ioanna Bryusova 294
To Nikolai Khardzhiev 295
To Osip Mandelstam 306
To Emma Gershtein 307
To Nadezhda Mandelstam 314
To Vladimir Garshin 316
To Irina Tomashevskaya 316
To Boris Pasternak 318
To Vera Sutugina 319
To Lev Gumilyov 320
To Aleksis Rannit 322
To Kornei Chukovsky 324
To Semyon Weinberg 325
To Georges Nivat 326
To Viktor Gorenko 326
To Fyodor Malov 329
To Joseph Brodsky 329
Akhmatova's Prose 335
Notes 347
Selected Bibliography 429
Index 431
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