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Nearly comatose after the horrors of repeated interrogations by Stalin's regime, Mandelstam (1891-1938) literally wrote himself back into a semblance of life while exiled 300 miles from Moscow in Voronezh....Mandelstam presents visions of the future, his own and his country's, that are steeped in necessarily coded foreboding. It is a great gift to be able to read these ninety poems together and complete in English for the first time, with explanatory notes provided for each. They form a wrenching diary of `iron tenderness' and doomed, penetrative brilliance"" - Publishers Weekly. Childish and wise, joyous and angry, at once complex and simple, he was sustained for twenty years by his wife and memoirist Nadezhda Mandelstam, who became, with Anna Akhmatova, the savior of his poetry. After his exile to Voronezh and his sentencing to hard labor for counter-revolutionary activities, he died of `heart failure' in the winter of 1938 in Siberia.
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Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938) was born and raised in St. Petersburg, where he attended the prestigious Tenishev School, before studying at the universities of St. Petersburg and Heidelberg and at the Sorbonne. Mandelstam first published his poems in Apollyon, an avant-garde magazine, in 1910, then banded together with Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev to form the Acmeist movement, which advocated an aesthetic of exact description and chiseled form, as suggested by the title of Mandelstam’s first book, Stone (1913). During the Russian Revolution, he left Leningrad for the Crimea and Georgia, and settled in Moscow in 1922,where his second collection of poems, Tristia, appeared. Unpopular with the Soviet authorities, Mandelstam found it increasingly difficult to publish his poetry, though an edition of collected poems did come out in 1928. In 1934, after reading a poem denouncing Stalin to friends, Mandelstam was arrested and sent into exile. He produced many new poems during these years, and his wife, Nadezhda, memorized his work in case his notebooks were destroyed or lost. (Her extraordinary memoirs of life with her husband, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, published in the 1970s, later helped to bring Mandelstam a worldwide audience.) In 1937, Mandelstam’s exile ended and he returned to Moscow, but he was arrested again almost immediately. This time he was sentenced to hard labor in Siberia. He was last seen in a transit camp near Vladivostok.
Andrew Davis is a poet, cabinetmaker, and visual artist. His current project is the long poem IMPLUVIUM. He divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the north coast of Spain.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-1852242051
Book Description Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1852242051