. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poetic Panoply

Admirers of Anna Akhmatova got lucky last month. Not only was volume 3 of Lydia Chukovskaya's Notes about Anna Akhmatova published, but also a hefty 600-page edition of Akhmatova's most important work, Anna Akhmatova: Poetry and Essays.

Published by Panorama as part of its "Library of Russian Literature: XX Century" series, this volume is taken from the seven-volume academic edition of Akhmatova's work which is being prepared for publication next year by Pushkinsky Dom.

This book contains the most complete collection of Akhmatova's love lyrics and narrative poems ever published in this country. Everything is presented according to the author's specifications -- sometimes at the expense of strict chronological order -- and naturally without censorship or external interference. Akhmatova's celebrated "Poem Without a Hero" (Poema bez geroya), for example, is published twice in the book, in its initial form and in a much rewritten 1960 version.

The book includes 150 pages of commentary and sells for the ruble equivalent of $5 or more.

The Complete Poetical Works of Mikhail Kuzmin, another celebrated Silver Age poet from St. Petersburg who died in 1936, was also published last month by Akademichesky Proyekt. This hefty volume is on sale for the ruble equivalent of $1, and will do much to remedy the disgraceful fact that between 1929 and 1989 not a single volume of Kuzmin's apolitical and ideologically inoffensive verse was published in Russia.