Marina Tsvetaeva’s birth anniversary

08 October 2013

There are books so alive that you’re always afraid that while you weren’t reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away. No one has stepped twice into the same river. But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?
From Pushkin and Pugachev (Пушкин и Пугачев,1937)

Today (October 8) we celebrate Marina Tsvetaeva’s birth anniversary. She was a famous Russian poetess, and her work is considered to be among the best literature produced in the 20th century.

Born at the end of the 19th century, Marina Tsvetaeva (Марина Цветаева) had to endure a sad and miserable life. After surviving the Russian Revolution and the Moscow famine, she placed her daughter Irina in an orphanage. She hoped to save Irina from starvation, but she eventually died there. After living abroad as an émigré for many years, Marina came back to Russia, where her husband was executed on espionage charges. Shortly after in 1941, she committed suicide.

Her work stands out for its depth in analyzing the human condition. Tsvetaeva was an impressive chronicler of her time, and also a linguistic pioneer: her poetry is characterized by a constant linguistic experimentation. She also wrote satirical poems, short stories and drama plays.

Tsvetaeva had many friends among Russian writers, including Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam and Anna Akhmatova (Анна Ахматова). Nowadays, she is considered a Russian icon: a planet was named after her, and her face appeared in stamps in 1992.

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