Hope Against Hope: A Memoir

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9780002625012: Hope Against Hope: A Memoir
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The story of the poet Osip Mandelstam, who suffered continuous persecution under Stalin, but whose wife constantly supported both him and his writings until he died in 1938.

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Nadezhda means "hope" in Russian. And Nadezhda Mandelstam, wife of Osip Mandelstam, one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century, is aptly named, for it is hope alone that seems to have buoyed her strength during very trying times. In this, the first of two volumes of her memoirs, she offers a harrowing account of the last four years she spent with her late husband. She re-creates in terse, stripped-to-the-bone sentences the atmosphere of intense paranoia that enveloped Russia's literary intelligentsia. In 1933, Osip had written a lighthearted satire ridiculing Stalin. It proved to be a 16-line death sentence. Nadezhda recalls the night the secret police came for him: "There was a sharp, unbearably explicit knock on the door. 'They've come for Osip,' I said." He was arrested, interrogated, exiled, and eventually rearrested. Nadezhda chronicles each turn of event, describing her feelings of heartbreak and joy with self-effacing discipline. Not only does Mandelstam write with the vitality and insight of the classic Russian novelists, she is far too selfless to write an account of her own travails. Instead, she acts as witness to a society's. Similarly, although Osip's mind became unbalanced by his ordeal in prison, his spirit remained unbroken; it is this liberating, imaginative force that Nadezhda celebrates in Hope Against Hope. --Lilian Pizzichini, Amazon.co.uk

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Hope Against Hope was first published in English in 1970. It is Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir of her life with Osip, who was first arrested in 1934 and died in Stalin's Great Purge of 1937-38. Hope Against Hope is a vital eyewitness account of Stalin's Soviet Union and one of the greatest testaments to the value of literature and imaginative freedom ever written. But it is also a profound inspiration - a love story that relates the daily struggle to keep both love and art alive in the most desperate circumstances.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375753169: Hope Against Hope: A Memoir

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0375753168 ISBN 13:  9780375753169
Publisher: Modern Library, 1999
Softcover

9781860466359: Hope Against Hope (Harvill Press Editions)

Harvil..., 1999
Softcover

9780689103711: Hope Against Hope

Scribner, 1970
Hardcover

9780689705304: Hope Against Hope

Scribn..., 1976
Softcover

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