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Tsvetaeva

by Schweitzer, Viktoria

  • ISBN: 9780374279455
  • ISBN10: 0374279454

Tsvetaeva

by Schweitzer, Viktoria

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish date: 01/01/2007
  • ISBN: 9780374279455
  • ISBN10: 0374279454
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Description: Marina Tsvetaeva was, with Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Pasternak, one of the four great Russian poets of this century. In a tragic time her fate was perhaps the most tragic of all. Born in 1892, the daughter of a gifted pianist and the founder of what is today the Pushkin Museum, Tsvetaeva had an intense, cloistered and romantic childhood. Her early teenage years were spent largely in Italy, Switzerland and Germany, as the family travelled Europe in search of a cure for her mother's tuberculosis. In 1910 she published her first collection of poetry, which was immediately recognized in literary circles as the work of a true poet, and the following year in the Crimea she met Sergey Efron, the man around whom her life would revolve to the end. Although Tsvetaeva married him, had three children by him and dedicated her life to him, she had passionate affairs with many lovers, the poets Osip Mandelstam and Sofia Parnok foremost amongst them. In 1917 Sergey joined the White Army and Marina did not see him again for five years. She and her elder daughter, Alya, barely survived the Revolution (her younger daughter died) and, in 1922, they joined Efron in emigration in Prague. There, and later in Paris, she wrote and published many of her greatest works, and kept up an intense correspondence with Rilke and Pasternak. However, by 1939, hardly known in her own country, estranged from her husband and virtually ostracized by the emigre community, she was nevertheless persuaded by Sergey, who had by then been exposed as a Soviet agent, to return to Moscow. Efron and Alya were arrested, and as the German Army pushed ever deeper into Russia, Tsvetaeva and her son were evacuated to Elabuga on the KamaRiver. There, on 31 August 1941, Tsvetaeva took her own life. Viktoria Schweitzer, who is recognized as being pre-eminent amongst Tsvetaeva specialists, spent twenty years researching her subject and was able to interview many of the people who knew Tsvetaeva personally, including her daughter and her sister. This is the first full-length story of the life and work of this supreme lyric poet and prose stylist to be based on such detailed research.
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