Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) ranks with Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak as one of Russia's greatest 20th-century poets. Her suicide at the age of 48 was the tragic culmination of a life beset by loss and hardship. This volume presents in English a collection of essays published in the Russian emigre press after Tsvetaeva left Moscow in 1922. Based on diaries she kept from 1917 to 1920, the work describes the broad social, economic and cultural chaos provoked by the Bolshevik Revolution. Events and individuals are seen through the lens of her personal experience - that of a destitute young woman of upper-class background with two small children (one of whom died of starvation), a missing husband, and no means of support other than her poetry. These autobiographical writings, sources of information on Tsvetaeva and her literary contemporaries, are also significant for the insights they provide into the sources and methodology of her difficult poetic language. In addition, they supply an eyewitness account of a dramatic period in Russian history, told by a gifted and outspoken poet.
Literature-Fiction, Poetry, Russian,