Marina Tsvetaeva


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About the author

The life of Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941), now recognised as a major Russian and indeed European poet of the 20th century, was marked to an unusual extent by the political and ideological conflicts of her time. Born to a privileged background in Moscow, the revolutions of 1917 brought her crushing hardship and deprivation, but also ushered in a period of unparalleled creativity as poet and playwright. In 1922 she left for the west to rejoin her husband, who had fought with the counter-revolutionary forces. In 1925 the family moved from near Prague to Paris. Their existence was marked by appalling poverty and a growing alienation from the Russian émigré community. When in 1937 her husband was implicated in an assassination carried out by the Stalinist secret services, Tsvetaeva saw no alternative but to follow him back to the USSR. After the Nazis invaded Russia, she was evacuated to Yelbuga, where she took her own life in August 1941. The publication of well over 1,000 letters, as well as of her diaries and notebooks, has revealed her also to be a thinker of quite exceptional daring and philosophical profundity.

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