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The Poetry of Khodasevich
April 24, 2014 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Michael Wachtel & Peter Daniels in Conversation — The Poetry of Khodasevich
Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 6PM — Labyrinth Books Princeton
“This poet, the greatest Russian poet of our time, Pushkin’s literary descendant in Tyutchev’s line of succession, shall remain the pride of Russian poetry as long as its last memory lives.” — Nabokov
When the poet Vladislav Khodasevich fled the Soviet Union in 1922, he left behind a country that was, with every passing day, growing more ominous. And yet in finding a way out—and outliving many of his contemporaries—Khodasevich was nearly erased from the tumultuous literary history of Russia’s long twentieth century. The publication of his Selected Poems is an essential and long-overdue tribute to this extraordinarily gifted poet. We invite you to a reading and a conversation about Khodasevich between Michael Wachtel, who wrote the introduction to the new anthology we’ll be celebrating, and Peter Daniels, its translator.
Born in 1886, Khodasevich came of age among the famed avant-gardists of Russian poetry, but unlike the major modernists of the age—the Symbolists and the Futurists among them—he sought inspiration neither in esoteric doctrines, nor in grand pronouncements. Instead, he was determined to find meaning in the world, and each of his poems reflects this tireless, often heroic, sometimes deeply bitter engagement with his surroundings.
An innovative classicist in an era taken in by relentless experimentation, Khodasevich was hailed by many of his peers in the Soviet Union and Berlin.
Michael Wachtel is Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. He is the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Russian Poetry, The Development of Russian Verse, and Russian Symbolism and Literary Tradition. Peter Daniels is a poet and an accomplished translator. His book of poems is Counting Eggs.