1917-2017; a century has past since the Russian Revolution, which led to great political and socio-economic turmoil. In Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak recreates the October Revolution; but the prose is almost always preceded by poetry and–to a greater or lesser extent–Pasternak’s shares his trust in the transformative power of art with the poets of the so-called Silver Age of Russian literature. Joseph Brodsky notes that Osip Mandelstam was a great poet before the Revolution. So too were Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva. They would have become what they were even if none of the events that occurred in Russia that century had ever taken place: because they had talent. Basically, talent doesn’t need history. Yet their lives were marked by pain, be it their own, family or collective pain.
In this series the historical-cultural context of the period and the biographies of Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Boris Pasternak (1890-1960), Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) and Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938) will be analysed. They were responsible for some of the most important poems of the twentieth century.