Hope Against Hope (Harvill Press Editions)

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9781860466359: Hope Against Hope (Harvill Press Editions)
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'Suddently, at about one o'clock in the morning, there was a sharp, unbearably explicit knock on the door. 'They've come for Osip', I said'. In 1933 the poet Osip Mandelstam- friend to Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova- wrote a spirited satire denouncing Josef Stalin. It proved to be a sixteen-line death sentence. For his one act of defiance he was arrested by the Cheka, the secret police, interrogated, exiled and eventually re-arrested. He died en route to one of Stalin's labour camps. His wife, Nadezhda (1899-1980) was with him on both occasions when he was arrested, and she loyally accompanied him into exile in the Urals, where he wrote his last great poems. Although his mind had been unbalanced by his ordeal in prison, his spirit remained unbroken. Eager to solve 'the Mandelstam problem', the Soviet authorities invited the couple to stay in a rest home near Moscow. Nadezhda saw it as an opportunity for her husband to mend his shattered life, but it was a trap and he was arrested for the last time. 'My case will never be closed', Osip once said, and it is mostly through the courageous efforts of Nadezhda that his memory has been preserved. Hope against Hope, her first volume of memoirs, is a vivid and disturbing account of her last four years with her husband, the efforts she made to secure his release, to rescue his manuscripts from oblivion, and later, tragically, to discover the truth about his mysterious death. It is also a harrowing, first-hand account of how Stalin and his henchmen persecuted Russia's literary intelligentsia in the 1930s and beyond. Nadezhda Mandelstam spent most of the Second World War in Tashkent, living with her friend Akhmatova. Only in 1964 was she at last granted permission to return to Moscow. Here she began Hope against Hope, and later Hope Abandoned, the two memoirs of her life.

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Review:

Nadezhda means "hope" in Russian, and for the wife of one of the greatest Russian poets of the 20th century, Osip Mandelstam, Nadezhda needed to hang on to it for survival. This is the first of two volumes of memoirs, and it is a harrowing account of Nadezhda's last four years with her husband. So she recreates 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 re-arrested, and 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. - -Lilian Pizzichini

Review:

"A superb memoir... A reminder that it is only a genuine work of art which is capable of communicating a reality so appalling as the Stalinist terror" (Philip Toynbee)

"Not only a vivid account of persecution during Stalin's terror, it is also one of the few convincing descriptions of how a genius writes poetry" (A. Alvarez)

"A Day of Judgement on earth for her age and its literature" (Joseph Brodsky)

"Surely the most luminous account we have- or are likely to get- of life in the Soviet Union during the purges of the 1930's" (New York Review of Books)

"The story is so fascinating and terrible, and told with such vitality and insight, that it englarges one's sense of life as well as of death and horror" (Isabel Quigly)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780375753169: Hope Against Hope (Modern Library)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0375753168 ISBN 13: 9780375753169
Publisher: Random House Inc, 1999
Softcover

9780002625012: Hope Against Hope: A Memoir

Harper..., 1971
Hardcover

9780689103711: Hope Against Hope - A Memoir

Atheneum, 1970
Hardcover

9780689705304: Hope against Hope: A Memoir

Prenti..., 1976
Softcover

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Nadezhda Mandelstam
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'Suddently, at about one o'clock in the morning, there was a sharp, unbearably explicit knock on the door. 'They've come for Osip', I said'.In 1933 the poet Osip Mandelstam- friend to Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova- wrote a spirited satire denouncing Josef Stalin. It proved to be a sixteen-line death sentence. For his one act of defiance he was arrested by the Cheka, the secret police, interrogated, exiled and eventually re-arrested. He died en route to one of Stalin's labour camps. His wife, Nadezhda (1899-1980) was with him on both occasions when he was arrested, and she loyally accompanied him into exile in the Urals, where he wrote his last great poems. Although his mind had been unbalanced by his ordeal in prison, his spirit remained unbroken. Eager to solve 'the Mandelstam problem', the Soviet authorities invited the couple to stay in a rest home near Moscow. Nadezhda saw it as an opportunity for her husband to mend his shattered life, but it was a trap and he was arrested for the last time.'My case will never be closed', Osip once said, and it is mostly through the courageous efforts of Nadezhda that his memory has been preserved. Hope against Hope, her first volume of memoirs, is a vivid and disturbing account of her last four years with her husband, the efforts she made to secure his release, to rescue his manuscripts from oblivion, and later, tragically, to discover the truth about his mysterious death. It is also a harrowing, first-hand account of how Stalin and his henchmen persecuted Russia's literary intelligentsia in the 1930s and beyond.Nadezhda Mandelstam spent most of the Second World War in Tashkent, living with her friend Akhmatova. Only in 1964 was she at last granted permission to return to Moscow. Here she began Hope against Hope, and later Hope Abandoned, the two memoirs of her life. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781860466359

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Book Description Vintage, 1999. Condition: New. 1999. New Ed. Paperback. The story of the poet Osip Mandelstam, who suffered continuous persecution under Stalin, but whose wife constantly supported both him and his writings until he died in 1938. Num Pages: 448 pages. BIC Classification: 1DVU; 2AGR; BGA; DSBF; DSBH; DSC; JPVR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 218 x 149 x 33. Weight in Grams: 528. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9781860466359

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'Suddently, at about one o'clock in the morning, there was a sharp, unbearably explicit knock on the door. 'They've come for Osip', I said'.In 1933 the poet Osip Mandelstam- friend to Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova- wrote a spirited satire denouncing Josef Stalin. It proved to be a sixteen-line death sentence. For his one act of defiance he was arrested by the Cheka, the secret police, interrogated, exiled and eventually re-arrested. He died en route to one of Stalin's labour camps. His wife, Nadezhda (1899-1980) was with him on both occasions when he was arrested, and she loyally accompanied him into exile in the Urals, where he wrote his last great poems. Although his mind had been unbalanced by his ordeal in prison, his spirit remained unbroken. Eager to solve 'the Mandelstam problem', the Soviet authorities invited the couple to stay in a rest home near Moscow. Nadezhda saw it as an opportunity for her husband to mend his shattered life, but it was a trap and he was arrested for the last time.'My case will never be closed', Osip once said, and it is mostly through the courageous efforts of Nadezhda that his memory has been preserved. Hope against Hope, her first volume of memoirs, is a vivid and disturbing account of her last four years with her husband, the efforts she made to secure his release, to rescue his manuscripts from oblivion, and later, tragically, to discover the truth about his mysterious death. It is also a harrowing, first-hand account of how Stalin and his henchmen persecuted Russia's literary intelligentsia in the 1930s and beyond.Nadezhda Mandelstam spent most of the Second World War in Tashkent, living with her friend Akhmatova. Only in 1964 was she at last granted permission to return to Moscow. Here she began Hope against Hope, and later Hope Abandoned, the two memoirs of her life. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781860466359

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