"No more passionate voice ever sounded in Russian poetry of the 20th century," Joseph Brodsky writes of Marina Tsvetaeva. And yet Western readers are only now starting to discover what Tsvetaeva’s Russian audience has already recognized, "that she was one of the major poetic voices of the century" (Tomas Venclova, The New Republic). Born to a family of Russian intelligentsia in 1892 and coming of age in the crucible of revolution and war, Tsvetaeva has been seen as a victim of her politicized time, her life and her work marked by exile, neglect, and persecution. This book is the first to show us the poet as she discovered her life through art, shaped as much by inner demons as by the political forces and harsh realities of her day. With remarkable psychological and literary subtlety, Lily Feiler traces these demons through the tragic drama of Tsvetaeva’s life and poetry. Hers is a story full of contradictions, resisting social and literary conventions but enmeshed in the politics and poetry of her time. Feiler depicts the poet in her complex relation to her contemporaries—Pasternak, Rilke, Mayakovsky, Mandelstam, and Akhmatova. She shows us a woman embodying the values of nineteenth-century romanticism, yet radical in her poetry, supremely independent in her art, but desperate for appreciation and love, simultaneously mother and child in her complicated sexual relationships with men and women. From prerevolutionary Russia to Red Moscow, from pre-World War II Berlin, Prague, and Paris to the Soviet Union under Stalin, Feiler follows the tortuous drama of Tsvetaeva’s life and work to its last tragic act, exposing at each turn the passions that molded some of this century’s most powerful poetry.
Milestones: A Bilingual Edition
Marina Tsvetaeva, translated from the Russian by Robin Kemball Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PG3476.T75V413 2003 | Dewey Decimal 891.7142
Milestones is an apt title for this collection, for the eighty-four poems within show a poet passing from mere talent into mastery of her craft. Composed between January and December of 1916, these poems find the twenty-four year-old Tsvetaeva thirsting for the fullness of life while at the same time contemplating the inevitability of death--a theme she was to revisit many times in her career. Tsvetaeva's work of the time also reflects her knowledge of (and pride in) her native culture, especially the centrality of Moscow as the ultimate destination of all Russians. Throughout the verse she opens up to the sensual wonders of nature--sky, forest, wind, and not least her beloved daughter Alya, who would come to figure greatly in the work and legacy of her mother.
Milestones lays out a sensual feast of moods, themes, styles, and rhythms--all the ingredients that would in time reveal Tsvetaeva as one of the most daring and original poets of her time.
The memoirs of Ariadna Efron have informed all important studies of Marina Tsvetaeva’s writing and are indispensable to a complete understanding of her life and work. Never before translated into English, these memoirs provide the insider’s view of Tsvetaeva’s daughter and "first reader."
No Love Without Poetry gives us Efron’s wrenching story of the difficulty of living with genius. The hardships imposed by early twentieth-century Russian political upheaval placed incredible strain on her already fraught, intense relationship with her mother. Efron recounts the family’s travels from Moscow to Germany, to Czechoslovakia, and finally to France, where, against her mother’s advice, Efron decided to return to Russia. Nemec Ignashev draws on new materials, including Efron’s short stories and her mother’s recently published notebooks, to supplement the original memoirs. No Love Without Poetry completes extant historical records on Marina Tsvetaeva and establishes Ariadna Efron as a literary force.
Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva’s powerful poetic voice and her tragic life have often prompted literary commentators to treat her as either a martyr or a monster. Born in Russia in 1892, she emigrated to Europe in 1922, returned to the Soviet Union at the height of the Stalinist Terror, and committed suicide in 1941. Alyssa Dinega focuses on the poetry, rediscovering Tsvetaeva as a serious thinker with a coherent artistic and philosophical vision.
These are the first two volumes of the Croatian poet and novelist Irena Vrkljan's lyrical autobiography. Although each novel illuminates the other, they also stand alone as original and independent works of art. In The Silk, the Shears, Vrkljan traces the symbolic and moral significance of her life, and her vision of the fate of women in her mother's time and in her own. Marina continues the intense analysis of the poetic self, using the life of Marina Tsvetaeva to meditate on the processes behind biography.
Tsvetaeva’s Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word explores the rich theme of the myth of Orpheus as master narrative for poetic inspiration and creative survival in the life and work of Marina Tsvetaeva. Olga Peters Hasty establishes the basic themes of the Orphic Complex—the poet’s longing to mediate between the embodied physical world and an “elsewhere,” the poet’s inability to do so, the primacy of the voice over the visual world, the insistence on concrete imagery, the costs of the poet’s gift—and orders her arguments in the tragic shape of the Orpheus myth as it worked itself out organically in Tsvetaeva’s own life. Hasty delineates the connections between the Orpheus myth and other key mythological and literary figures in the poet’s life—including Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Alexander Pushkin, and Rainer Maria Rilke—to make an important and original critical contribution.