Galina S. RYLKOVA. Saint or Monster? Anna Akhmatova in the 21st Century

В статье рассматриваются особенности биографического письма вообще, а также то, как менялся и меняется образ Анны Ахматовой в соответсвии с духом времени.

In April 1966, one month after Anna Akhmatova’s death, a minor literary critic, M. Busin, accused Soviet censorship of inflicting permanent damage on Akhmatova’s poetic legacy.

We certainly don’t know Akhmatova’s poetic legacy in its entirety. The fine mesh of the [Communist] Party censorship sieve has let through only some of its pitiful crumbs. Some of her legacy has reached us by roundabout ways. A lot of it, however, has undoubtedly been lost irrevocably.
What the late poet’s friends manage to preserve from the party-driven vandalism will become fully known to us only after the seeds of the future free and noble Russia that she sowed sprout and communist despotism disintegrates into ashes.

By the early 2000s, Busin’s dreams had come true beyond his wildest expectations. As it turns out, the disgraced Communists did not sink into ignominy alone. They also managed to drag down with them such seemingly indestructible constructs as the Russian Silver Age and one of its major constituent parts—the Akhmatova institution.2 Since perestroika, Akhmatova’s legacy has not only been successfully recovered, rediscovered, studied, and carefully stored for posterity in multivolume collections of her works of poetry and prose, in literary museums, and in numerous books of memoirs but also subjected to scrutiny and rigorous reconceptualization. >>

Галина Рылькова

Galina Rylkova is Associate Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Toronto in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She has published articles on a wide range of topics, including cultural memory about the Russian Silver Age, and the writings of Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Akhmatova, and Pasternak. She is the author of The Archaeology of Anxiety: The Russian Silver Age and Its Legacy published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2007. Her current research interests include: Psychology of Creative Personality; Chekhov, Cultural Memory; Biography; and Russian Theater. She is working on her second book, “Creative Lives: The Art of Being a Successful Russian Writer.”

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