The Word that Causes Death's Defeat: Poems of Memory

The Word that Causes Death's Defeat: Poems of Memory

by Anna Akhmatova, Nancy K. Anderson
     
 

Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966), one of twentieth-century Russia’s greatest poets, was viewed as a dangerous element by post-Revolution authorities. One of the few unrepentant poets to survive the Bolshevik revolution and subsequent Stalinist purges, she set for herself the artistic task of preserving the memory of pre-Revolutionary cultural heritage and of

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Overview

Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966), one of twentieth-century Russia’s greatest poets, was viewed as a dangerous element by post-Revolution authorities. One of the few unrepentant poets to survive the Bolshevik revolution and subsequent Stalinist purges, she set for herself the artistic task of preserving the memory of pre-Revolutionary cultural heritage and of those who had been silenced. This book presents Nancy K. Anderson’s superb translations of three of Akhmatova’s most important poems: Requiem, a commemoration of the victims of Stalin’s Terror; The Way of All the Earth, a work to which the poet returned repeatedly over the last quarter-century of her life and which combines Old Russian motifs with the modernist search for a lost past; and Poem Without a Hero, widely admired as the poet’s magnum opus.
Each poem is accompanied by extensive commentary. The complex and allusive Poem Without a Hero is also provided with an extensive critical commentary that draws on the poet’s manuscripts and private notebooks. Anderson offers relevant facts about the poet’s life and an overview of the political and cultural forces that shaped her work. The resulting volume enables English-language readers to gain a deeper level of understanding of Akhmatova’s poems and how and why they were created.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300103779
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/27/2004
Series:
Annals of Communism Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.12(d)

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Table of Contents

Pt. IBiographical and historical background
Ch. 1Youth and early fame, 1889-19163
Ch. 2Revolution and civil war, 1917-192223
Ch. 3Outcast in the new order, 1922-193544
Ch. 4Terror and the muse, 1936-194168
Ch. 5War and late Stalinism, 1941-195392
Ch. 6Late fame and final years, 1953-1966115
Pt. IIThe poems
Requiem135
The way of all the earth145
Poem without a hero148
Pt. IIICritical essays
Bearing the burden of witness : requiem181
Forward into the past : the way of all the earth194
Rediscovering a lost generation : poem without a Hero203
Pt. IVCommentary
Commentary on Poem without a hero235
App. IAn early version of Poem without a hero (Tashkent 1942)267
App. IIPoem without a hero : excerpts from Akhmatova's notebooks280

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