Tuesday, January 15, 2013

News at Eleven: Against the Soviet preference for writing

that is simple, ideological, and clear, [Anna] Akhmatova praises [Alexander] Pushkin's ability to produce difficult art that "invites various interpretations." At the same time, she searches for the cunningly hidden traces of Pushkin's life and personality in the poem. She's clearly reverse-engineering the traces to puzzle out how he shaped them, how he took the messy scraps and shards of his marital problems and built lasting art from them.

The collection includes two biographical pieces: "Pushkin's Death" and "Alexandrina." Akhmatova defends Pushkin's reputation against everyone from his time who tried to discredit him during and after the events leading up to his duel with d'Anthes. She possibly protests too much, but you can see why guarding Pushkin from rumor and social malice matters so intensely to her.

from Bookslut: A Posthumous Collaboration: Anna Akhmatova's Relationship with Pushkin


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