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Of Politics and Poetry: Ariadna Efron on Marina Tsvetaeva, Redux

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Owing in part to real censorship and in part to self-censorship, Ariadna Efron, daughter and self-appointed dusheprikazchik of poet Marina Tsvetaeva, published memoirs of her mother that have been at least difficult to decipher and to many seemed obscurantist. In retrospect, particularly now that we have access to the very Tsvetaeva papers that Efron locked away until the end of the twentieth century, her memoirs of growing up alongside the great poet have acquired a second life. In the first half of this article I review major Tsvetaeva studies to illustrate that despite dissatisfaction with her executive decisions, Tsvetaeva scholars have relied on her memoirs in their interpretations of the poet's work. In the second half of this article I offer a close reading of Efron's presentation of her mother's two-poem cycle, Zavódskie, to suggest how future scholars might approach Efron's complex and rich biography cum autobiography.

Affiliations: 1: Carleton College


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