Edited By Tatiana Victoroff
Les contributions de chercheurs comparatistes ou slavisants, français et russes, s’organisent selon plusieurs axes – Akhmatova en dialogue avec les poètes européens ; Akhmatova comme poète européen ; les questions de traduction et de transmission – mais l’ouvrage inclut également les témoignages de poètes et d’intellectuels au sujet de leur rencontre avec Akhmatova ou à travers la lecture de ses vers. Il propose également de nouvelles traductions d’Akhmatova en français. Enfin, des poèmes inédits d’auteurs européens contemporains qui ont composé sous l’inspiration akhmatovienne témoignent de l’écho européen d’une voix contre laquelle la censure s’est acharnée sans l’étouffer et qui reste un surgeon toujours fécond dans la lignée de la poésie la plus existentielle.
The Muse of Lament or the Muse of Compassion? The Reception of Anna Akhmatova in Great Britain
University of Edinburgh
Anna Akhmatova’s poetry is well-known in Great Britain. One of the first references to Akhmatova appeared in the periodical The Athenaeum in October 1915: the author of the review, which featured a number of recently published Russian books, characterised her as “an exquisite poetess who, though quite young, had already established a school.”1 Akhmatova had several personal ties with England. Yet she became better known in England not through the memoirs of her friends but through numerous publications related to her life and poetry produced by scholars, literary critics and translators. Their praise for Akhmatova secured her a firm place in the European poetic canon. This chapter will demonstrate how the current engagement with Akhmatova’s poetry is rooted in the long history of interpreting and translating her verse in Great Britain. Not only was Akhmatova awarded an honorary degree of Doctors of Letters by the University of Oxford in 1965, she was described by the presenter of the award as “a poetess of the highest distinction most justly by some critics called the Russian Sappho.”2 Her physical beauty and her image of the suffering person who had a gift for empathising with others was immortalised in Boris Anrep’s mosaic located in the National Gallery in London near the entrance from Trafalgar Square. The mosaic floor that Anrep created portrays famous people of his time, scenes of everyday life and allegorical figures symbolically representing art, literature, architecture and...
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