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Book Title: Hope Against Hope: A Memoir|
The author of the book: Nadezhda Mandelstam
Date of issue: 1975
ISBN 13: 9780140038798
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 663 KB
Read full description of the books Hope Against Hope: A Memoir:Nadezhda means "hope" in Russian. And Nadezhda Mandelstam, wife of Osip Mandelstam, one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century, is aptly named, for it is hope alone that seems to have buoyed her strength during very trying times. In this, the first of two volumes of her memoirs, she offers a harrowing account of the last four years she spent with her late husband. She re-creates in terse, stripped-to-the-bone sentences the atmosphere of intense paranoia that enveloped Russia's literary intelligentsia. In 1933, Osip had written a lighthearted satire ridiculing Stalin. It proved to be a 16-line death sentence. Nadezhda recalls the night the secret police came for him: "There was a sharp, unbearably explicit knock on the door. 'They've come for Osip,' I said." He was arrested, interrogated, exiled, and eventually rearrested. Nadezhda chronicles each turn of event, describing her feelings of heartbreak and joy with self-effacing discipline. Not only does Mandelstam write with the vitality and insight of the classic Russian novelists, she is far too selfless to write an account of her own travails. Instead, she acts as witness to a society's. Similarly, although Osip's mind became unbalanced by his ordeal in prison, his spirit remained unbroken; it is this liberating, imaginative force that Nadezhda celebrates in Hope Against Hope. --Lilian Pizzichini, Amazon.co.uk
Read information about the authorNadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam (Russian: Надежда Яковлевна Мандельштам, née Hazin; 31 October 1899 – 29 December 1980) was a Russian writer and a wife of poet Osip Mandelstam.
Born in Saratov into a middle-class Jewish family, she spent her early years in Kiev. After the gymnasium she studied art.
After their marriage in 1921, Nadezhda and Osip Mandelstam lived in Ukraine, Petrograd, Moscow, and Georgia. Osip was arrested in 1934 for his Stalin Epigram and exiled with Nadezhda to Cherdyn, in the Perm region and later to Voronezh.
After Osip Mandelstam's second arrest and his subsequent death at a transit camp "Vtoraya Rechka" near Vladivostok in 1938, Nadezhda Mandelstam led an almost nomadic way of life, dodging her expected arrest and frequently changing places of residence and temporary jobs. On at least one occasion, in Kalinin, the NKVD came for her the next day after she fled.
As her mission in life, she set to preserve and publish her husband's poetic heritage. She managed to keep most of it memorized because she did not trust paper.
After the death of Stalin, Nadezhda Mandelstam completed her dissertation (1956) and some years after was allowed to return to Moscow (1964).
In her memoirs, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, first published in the West, she gives an epic analysis of her life and criticizes the moral and cultural degradation of the Soviet Union of the 1920s and later. The titles of her memoirs are puns, Nadezhda in Russian meaning "hope".
In 1976 she gave her archives to Princeton University. Nadezhda Mandelstam died in 1980 in Moscow, aged 81.
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