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A central figure not only in modern Russian but in world poetry, Osip Mandelstam was a crucial instigator of the "revolution of the word" that took place in St. Petersburg, only to be crushed by the Bolshevik revolution. His last poems, written on the run in the interval between his exile to the provinces by Stalin and his death in the gulag, provide an extraordinary testament to the enduring power of art in the presence of state terror.
Distributed by the University of Nebraska Press for Whale and Star Press Modernist Archaist offers a comprehensive English-language selection of Osip Mandelstam’s poetry, edited by Russian scholar Kevin M. F. Platt, who also contributes an illuminating essay. New translations by notable contemporary poets combined with an exceptional selection of previous translations are representative of the most up-to-date interpretation of Mandelstam’s work. Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938), one of the most significant poets of twentieth-century Russian literature, also embodied more fully than any other its profound paradoxes. He was a Jew born in Poland who became a leading Russian poet. He was a committed Modernist who was nevertheless faithful to the great examples and strict forms of the past literary tradition. Most strikingly, he was a rebel and radical thinker who was ultimately hounded to death as an “enemy” of the revolutionary Soviet society. Yet while Mandelstam’s poetry bore witness to the convulsions of twentieth-century Russian culture and politics, it was by no means limited or defined by these historical contexts. In an early statement of his creative credo Mandelstam wrote: “for an artist, a worldview is a tool or a means, like a hammer in the hands of a mason, and the only reality is the work of art itself.” The poems offered in this volume, about half of them appearing in previously unpublished translations, present an overview of Mandelstam’s major works. Introductory materials include an essay on his life and poetry.
Author : Christian Wiman
ISBN : 0062099426
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 84.43 MB
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A new selection and translation of the work of Osip Mandelstam, perhaps the most important Russian poet of the twentieth century Political nonconformist Osip Mandelstam's opposition to Stalin's totalitarian government made him a target of the communist state. The public recitation of his 1933 poem known in English as "The Stalin Epigram" led to his arrest, exile, and eventual imprisonment in a Siberian transit camp, where he died, presumably in 1938. Mandelstam's work—much of it written under extreme duress—is an extraordinary testament to the enduring power of art in the face of oppression and terror. Stolen Air spans Mandelstam's entire poetic career, from his early highly formal poems in which he reacted against Russian Symbolism to the poems of anguish and defiant abundance written in exile, when Mandelstam became a truly great poet. Aside from the famous early poems, which have a sharp new vitality in Wiman's versions, Stolen Air includes large selections from The Moscow Notebooks and The Voronezh Notebooks. Going beyond previous translators who did not try to reproduce Mandelstam's music, Christian Wiman has captured in English—for the first time—something of Mandelstam's enticing, turbulent, and utterly heartbreaking sounds.
Poetry. Osip Mandelstam was born in 1891. Professor Donald Rayfield, in his notes to Chapter 42 and the Goldfinch by Nadezhda and Osip Mandelstam, wrote that Mandelstam's "poetry of the thirties, almost all unpublished in his own lifetime, marks him as arguably the greatest Russian poet this century." He died in a Siberian transit camp in 1938. Elaine Feinstein, in her foreword to A NECKLACE OF BEES, writes that "Maria Enzensberger has chosen not only early poems where Mandelstam is grateful for the quiet joy of being alive, but later poems which have the 'flavour of smoke and grief;' the abrupt, intimate, miraculous poems of Mandelstam's years in exile. And here these translations speak with heartbreaking clarity." Maria Enzensberger was born in Moscow in 1943. She died in London in 1991.
'There is a salubrious élan about much of the book, and the fact that it is a book, not just a selection the significant poems, amplifies our sense of whatStonereally means to its contemporary readers' Seamus Heaney 'What makes Robert Tracy's book invaluable is his feeling for context...Another thing that comes across in these translations is the verve and immediacy of the poems' occasions, recalling the Acmeist programme of 'this-worldliness': there are poems about tennis and ice-cream and silent movies, poems that seem to jump into being on impulse' Seamus Heaney,London Review of Books 'A blend of classical serenity and brash iconoclasm. This is a splendid introduction to a poet who should be known thoroughly' G.E. Murray,Chicago Sun Times 'Professor Tracy has done a superb job. His introduction is excellent, his notes are very comprehensive...and his verse translations are remarkably good. All one can say is "Thank you"' Irish Times WhenStoneappeared in 1913, it marked the debut of one of Russia's greatest twentieth-century poets. Precision, clarity and concreteness, a concern with form and fascination with European culture, especially architecture, were touchstones for the young poet and remained so for the rest of his extraordinary writing life. This bilingual edition, based on the most complete edition of 1928, was published, alongsideThe Collected Critical Prose and Letters,to mark Mandelstam's centenary in 1991.