Between 1923 and their first meeting, in Paris in 1936, Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva wrote over two hundred letters to each other, widening the circle of their correspondence in 1926 to include Rainer Maria Rilke. With their letters the poets offered each other creative, intellectual, and – particularly in Tsvetaeva’s case – life sustenance in a world increasingly hostile to their work and to them personally. Perhaps someday a translator (team of translators!) will provide non-Russian readers access to these letters whose passion and beauty rival Tsvetaeva’s and Pasternak’s “public” writing. In the meantime, The Same Solitude affords English readers a tantalizing introduction. Significant factors complicated Ciepiela’s task and shaped her book. The most critical was that of the incomplete survival of the letters themselves. As reported by Irina Shevelenko, co-editor with Elena Korkina of Ciepiela’s source for the correspondence – Marina Tsvetaeva. Boris Pasternak. Dushi nachinaiut videt’: Pis’ma 1922–1936 (Moscow: Vagrius, 2004), Tsvetaeva preserved the majority of Pasternak’s letters to her. Unfortunately, Tsvetaeva’s letters to Pasternak, entrusted to a friend, were lost when the friend left her purse, letters inside, on a Moscow suburban train. Fortunately, when the Tsvetaeva archive was opened in 2000 after a
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2014
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