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My Half Century: Selected Prose

Overview

Anna Akhmatova lived in a world suffused with tragedy: She faced the execution of her poet husband, the imprisonment and exile of her son, the deaths of many friends in labor camps, and personal censorship and illness. However, throughout her life she remained committed to being a witness for the times with her daring poetry and prose.

This collection includes Akhmatova's letters, essays on Pushkin, diatribes against the Stalinist establishment, rousing wartime broadcasts, and ...

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Overview

Anna Akhmatova lived in a world suffused with tragedy: She faced the execution of her poet husband, the imprisonment and exile of her son, the deaths of many friends in labor camps, and personal censorship and illness. However, throughout her life she remained committed to being a witness for the times with her daring poetry and prose.

This collection includes Akhmatova's letters, essays on Pushkin, diatribes against the Stalinist establishment, rousing wartime broadcasts, and encounters with fellow poets. Here, through her deceptively simple style, the elusive writer conveys the closest thing to a self-portrait she ever allowed herself.

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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: 9781468301571
  • Publisher: Overlook TP
  • Publication date: 12/24/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) is known as one of twentieth-century Russia's greatest poets. She suffered repression under Stalinism and after World War II; her literary achievement was finally internationally recognized in the final years of her life.

Ronald Meyer teaches the seminar on Russian literary translation at Columbia University. His most recent translation is Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Gambler and Other Stories.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations x

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xvii

A Note on the Text xviii

A Biographical Sketch xix

Pages from a Diary

Pages from 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

My Half Century

Reminiscences of 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

Prose about the Poem 127

The Ballet Libretto 139

About Pushkin

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

Reviews and Public Addresses

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 Anniversay 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

Afterword

Akhmatova's Prose Emma Gershtein 335

Notes 347

Selected Bibliography 429

Index 431

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