By Vladislav Khodasevich, Angela Brintlinger

ISBN-10: 0299224201

ISBN-13: 9780299224202

Russian poet, soldier, and statesman Gavriil Derzhavin (1743–1816) lived in the course of an epoch of momentous swap in Russia—imperial enlargement, peasant revolts, battle with Turkey, and fight with Napoleon—and he served 3 tsars, together with Catherine the nice. the following in its first English translation is the masterful biography of Derzhavin by way of one other acclaimed Russian guy of letters, Vladislav Khodasevich.
            Derzhavin occupied a place on the heart of Russian lifestyles, uniting civic carrier with poetic suggestion and developing an oeuvre that at its essence celebrated the triumphs of Russia and its rulers, really Catherine the good. His biographer Khodasevich, against this, left Russia in 1922, not able to abide the more and more repressive regime of the Soviets. For Khodasevich, whose lyric poems have been as standard of their concentration as Derzhavin’s odes have been grand, this biography used to be in a feeling a rediscovery of a misplaced and idyllic period, a interval whilst it used to be attainable to aspire to the pinnacles of inventive fulfillment whereas nonetheless occupying a important function in Russian society.
Khodasevich writes with humor, intelligence, and knowing, and his paintings stands as a monument to the final 3 centuries of Russian historical past, lending willing perception into Russia’s earlier in addition to its current and destiny. “Khodasevich’s gentle narrative contact (as translated by way of Brintlinger) lends a novelistic caliber to the biography, making it a real journey de strength. All scholars and students – of heritage, literature, poetry, biography – will locate anything of curiosity here.”— selection

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Extra info for Derzhavin: A Biography

Sample text

O city of luxuries, profligacy, and evil! For the young thou art a pity and a calamity! O labyrinth of inescapable passions, My intellect struggles, but thou art insurmountable! How long will I drag out my days in thee? How long must I live in thee so profligately, Moscow? I have wanted to flee an hundred times And, steel’d to go, yet an hundred times returned. ” Although not completely without a backward glance. His Moscow passions still stirred. Repentance said one thing to his soul, but the devil said something else.

The only consolation was that new uniforms were issued that were not as silly-looking as the previous ones. The lucky Kirila Grigorievich Razumovsky honored his illustrious guests with feasts, festivities, and fireworks at his magnificent palace, in the spacious gardens, and on the glorious ponds of his estate. During these events the musketeer Derzhavin stood guard. On the thirteenth of September Catherine entered the ancient capital amid a splendid procession, with much bell-ringing, cannon fire, and a general hue and cry.

By the time the Preobrazhensky regiment sent Derzhavin’s “passport” to the Kazan grammar school, this term had already expired. There was no way out: without warning Derzhavin the schoolboy had become a soldier. He had to leave for Petersburg immediately. His mother collected the money for his journey and an extra hundred rubles for his future life. It was February . Derzhavin was not to reach Petersburg until March. 2 “, ! ,” laughed the regimental duty officer, Major Tekutev, looking at his passport.

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Derzhavin: A Biography by Vladislav Khodasevich, Angela Brintlinger


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