Non-Fiction Books:

The Voronezh Notebooks


Paperback / softback

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The Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam
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Osip Mandelstam is one of the greatest of twentieth-century poets in any language, and his work, which sounds the depths of the Russian language, has presented a fertile and constant challenge to translators. Composed after Mandelstam's unexpected release from Stalin's prisons, The Voronezh Notebooks cover two years of the poet's life, from the spring of 1935, when, in a state of physical and mental collapse, he traveled south into exile with his wife to May 1937, not long before the couple was allowed to return to Moscow (which was followed by Mandelstam's final arrest), and they constitute a single sequence and a kind of last testament. Meditating on death and survival, on the powers-that-be and the power of poetry, on marriage, friendship, and memory, challenging Stalin between lines that are full of the sights and sounds of the steppes, blue sky and black earth, the roads, winter breath, spring with its birds and flowers and bees, the Notebooks are a continual improvisation and unapologetic affirmation of poetry as life. The extraordinary concentration, powerful imagery, and strange echoing music of Mandelstam's sequence come forth in English as never before in Andrew Davis's inspired new translation.

Author Biography

Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938) was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, and published his first poems in the avant-garde magazine, Apollyon. As an established poet, Mandelstam was unpopular with Soviet authorities and found it increasingly difficult to publish his poetry. In 1934, after reading an epigram denouncing Stalin to friends, Mandelstam was arrested and sent into exile in Voronezh. In 1938, he was arrested again and sentenced to a camp in Siberia. He died that same year in a transit camp. The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam is available as an NYRB Classic. Andrew Davis is a poet, cabinetmaker and visual artist. His current project is the long poem IMPLUVIUM. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and on the north coast of Spain.
Release date Australia
January 15th, 2016
Country of Publication
United States
NYRB Poets
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