“Milestones”. From Conversations and Notes about Osip Mandelstam’s “Voronezh Notebooks”
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Abstract: The article analyses the specificity of reception of Mandelstam’s “Voronezh Notebooks” in the censored (prepublication) period during expertise of his works by independent researchers in Voronezh where his poems were created, recorded and authorized. The authors study the historical background and clarify some strategies of perception of Mandelstam’s lyrical poems and the problems of real and historical-literary commenting of his texts. The urgency of the study can be attributed to the need to investigate the history of accumulating precise knowledge about the poet and his creative activity recorded in personal documents such as letters, diaries, notebooks and transcripts of interviews kept in private collections of the scholars who took part in the search and systematization of historical and biographical data (and other reliable materials, facts and oral reminiscences) about Mandelstam’s life and his creative heritage. The novelty of the study is determined by the fact that it includes in the scope of scholarly interest the notes of N. Mitrakova, written down in the 1960s–1980s during her communication with N. Shtempel (1908–1988) who, being a friend of N. Mandelstam, was involved in poet’s life, and saved and kept the major part of his archive. The article reconstructs the search for real Voronezh toponymy reinterpreted in the poet’s works. For the first time, the article provides extracts from previously unpublished and new diaries of Professor V. Svitelskiy (1940–2005), who was the founder of Mandelstam studies in Voronezh. The article publishes photos from N. Mitrakova’s private collection and photos made in the 1970s–1980s by the researcher, Candidate of Chemistry V. Gordin (1940–1992), who was N. Shtempel’s co-author of the album and the slide show “Mandelstam in Voronezh”. The text was prepared by O. Aleynikov. Quotes from the diaries of V. Svitelsky were prepared and provided by N. Mitrakova. Fragments of her memoirs about N. Shtempel and the search for real topography are highlighted in the text of the article as the author’s material.
Key words: Reception of creative activity; Russian poets; literary creative activity; literary genres; poems; Mandelstam studies.
Mitrakova, N. М., Aleinikov, O. Yu. (2021). “Milestones”. From Conversations and Notes about Osip Mandelstam’s “Voronezh Notebooks”. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №2. P. 111-122. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-02-09.