Necropolis - Russian Library (Hardback)
  • Necropolis - Russian Library (Hardback)
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Necropolis - Russian Library (Hardback)

(author), (translator), (author of introduction)
£25.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 10/05/2019
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Necropolis is an unconventional literary memoir by Vladislav Khodasevich, hailed by Vladimir Nabokov as "the greatest Russian poet of our time." In each of the book's nine chapters, Khodasevich memorializes a significant figure of Russia's literary Silver Age, and in the process writes an insightful obituary of the era.

Written at various times throughout the 1920s and 1930s following the deaths of its subjects, Necropolis is a literary graveyard in which an entire movement, Russian Symbolism, is buried. Recalling figures including Alexander Blok, Sergey Esenin, Fyodor Sologub, and the socialist realist Maxim Gorky, Khodasevich tells the story of how their lives and artworks intertwined, including a notoriously tempestuous love triangle among Nina Petrovskaya, Valery Bryusov, and Andrei Bely. He testifies to the seductive and often devastating power of the Symbolist attempt to turn one's life into a work of art and, ultimately, how one man was left with the task of memorializing his fellow artists after their deaths. Khodasevich's portraits deal with revolution, disillusionment, emigration, suicide, the vocation of the poet, and the place of the artist in society. One of the greatest memoirs in Russian literature, Necropolis is a compelling work from an overlooked writer whose gifts for observation and irony show the early twentieth-century Russian literary scene in a new and more intimate light.

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231187046
Number of pages: 304
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Khodasevich's crystalline, mordant prose is skilfully handled by Sarah Vitali, who has done justice to the text and supplemented it with a wealth of endnotes that illuminate its more allusive and evasive moments. The edition also benefits from a stylish introduction by David Bethea, which strikes perfectly a balance of engaging readability and in-depth critical insight. -- Bryan Karetnyk * Times Literary Supplement *
Completely captivating. . . . These portraits he wrote from 1924 to 1938 of the self-tortured and Soviet-tortured writers feel fresh and are somehow ever-entertaining. * Russian Life *
Vitali adds excellent translator's notes and a most useful explanatory list of everyone named in the volume. Required reading for students of Russian literature, scholars of comparative literature and memoir writing, and anyone interested in learning about literature and literary life in Russia. . . Essential. * Choice *
Necropolis initiates us into the inner circle of the seminal figures of Russian Symbolism with uncanny tenderness, equanimity, and brutality. The intensity of reading Vladislav Khodasevich's memoir makes the mind stagger around the charnel ground of the Symbolist poets and writers. -- Amy Hosig, poet
An incisive set of memoirs of the leading lights of Russian Symbolism and its aftermath. This is a stylish, inventive translation of a key text. -- Robert P. Hughes, University of California, Berkeley
In Necropolis, the emigre poet Vladislav Khodasevich looks back-now wistfully, now bitterly-on the major writers and movements of Russian culture in the pre- and immediate postrevolutionary years. In Sarah Vitali's splendid translation, this masterpiece of memoir literature is finally accessible to the Anglophone reader. -- Michael Wachtel, Princeton University

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