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Khodasevich, V: Necropolis


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Table of Contents

Translator’s Acknowledgments
Introduction, by David Bethea
1. The Death of Renate
2. Bryusov
3. Andrei Bely
4. Muni
5. Gumilyov and Blok
6. Gershenzon
7. Sologub
8. Esenin
9. Gorky
Translator’s Notes
Index of Names

About the Author

Vladislav Khodasevich (1886–1939) was a major figure in twentieth-century Russian poetry as well as an accomplished critic and translator. Born into a Polish Catholic noble family in Moscow, he spent his later life in Berlin and Paris.

Sarah Vitali is a translator and PhD candidate in Slavic languages and literatures at Harvard University.


Khodasevich’s crystalline, mordant prose is skilfully handled by Sarah Vitali, who has done justice to the text and supplemented it with a wealth of endnotes that illuminate its more allusive and evasive moments. The edition also benefits from a stylish introduction by David Bethea, which strikes perfectly a balance of engaging readability and in-depth critical insight.
*Times Literary Supplement*

Completely captivating. . . . These portraits he wrote from 1924 to 1938 of the self-tortured and Soviet-tortured writers feel fresh and are somehow ever-entertaining.
*Russian Life*

Vitali adds excellent translator's notes and a most useful explanatory list of everyone named in the volume. Required reading for students of Russian literature, scholars of comparative literature and memoir writing, and anyone interested in learning about literature and literary life in Russia. . . Essential.

Necropolis initiates us into the inner circle of the seminal figures of Russian Symbolism with uncanny tenderness, equanimity, and brutality. The intensity of reading Vladislav Khodasevich’s memoir makes the mind stagger around the charnel ground of the Symbolist poets and writers.
*Amy Hosig, poet*

An incisive set of memoirs of the leading lights of Russian Symbolism and its aftermath. This is a stylish, inventive translation of a key text.
*Robert P. Hughes, University of California, Berkeley*

In Necropolis, the émigré poet Vladislav Khodasevich looks back—now wistfully, now bitterly—on the major writers and movements of Russian culture in the pre- and immediate postrevolutionary years. In Sarah Vitali’s splendid translation, this masterpiece of memoir literature is finally accessible to the Anglophone reader.
*Michael Wachtel, Princeton University*

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