By Diana L. Burgin
The climate in Moscow is sweet, there is no cholera, there is additionally no lesbian love...Brrr! Remembering these people of whom you write me makes me nauseous as though i would eaten a rotten sardine. Moscow does not have them--and that is marvellous."
—Anton Chekhov, writing to his writer in 1895
Chekhov's barbed remark indicates the weather within which Sophia Parnok was once writing, and is an extra testomony to to the energy and self assurance with which she pursued either her own and inventive lifestyles. writer of 5 volumes of poetry, and lover of Marina Tsvetaeva, Sophia Parnok used to be the one overtly lesbian voice in Russian poetry throughout the Silver Age of Russian letters. regardless of her designated contribution to trendy Russian lyricism even though, Parnok's existence and paintings have basically been forgotten.
Parnok used to be no longer a political activist, and she or he had no engagement with the feminism vogueish in younger Russian highbrow circles. From a tender age, even though, she deplored all different types of male posturing and condescension and felt alienated from what she known as patriarchal virtues. Parnok's method of her sexuality was once both forthright. Accepting lesbianism as her typical disposition, Parnok stated her relationships with ladies, either sexual and non-sexual, to be the centre of her artistic existence.
Diana Burgin's greatly researched lifetime of Parnok is intentionally woven round the poet's personal account, obvious in her writings. The publication is split into seven chapters, which replicate seven typical divisions in Parnok's existence. This lends Burgin's paintings a selected poetic resonance, due to its structural affinity with one in all Parnok's final and maximum poetic achievements, the cycle of affection lyrics Ursa significant. devoted to her final lover, Parnok refers to this cycle as a seven-star of verses, after the seven stars that make up the constellation. Parnok's poems, translated right here for the 1st time in English, extra to a wealth of biographical fabric, make this ebook a desirable and lyrical account of an incredible Russian poet. Burgin's paintings is vital analyzing for college students of Russian literature, lesbian background and women's studies.