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By David M. Bethea

This severe biography of Vladislav Khodasevich (1886-1939), David M. Bethea introduces to the Western reader the existence and paintings of a literary determine defined via Vladimir Nabokov because the maximum Russian poet of the 20th century. initially released in 1983.

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Extra info for Khodasevich: His Life and Art

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33 Kursiv, p. 169. 34 Khodasevich's health was further endangered when he was an infant by an ominous swelling that appeared on his tongue, which resulted in his refusing to take food. But Dr. Smith, a kindly pediatrician, successfully cauterized the tumor, and Elena Alexandrovna was soon nursing the sickly child back to health. " and is meant as a riposte to a particularly nasty remark. That Khodasevich, perhaps the most ironic of all modern Russian poets and, as the occasion demanded, one of the most sarcastic of emigre critics, should be born with a lingual blister appears almost prefigured.

26 One of the most impressive aspects of Khodasevich's biography is his record in matters of literary con­ science; an aspect much more controversial is his record in matters of literary tact and forbearance. 27 Indeed, as Khodasevich explains almost in the same breath, the fact that he was as if an only child, with few playmates his own age and primarily his own fancy and the world of adults with which to occupy himself, led nat­ urally, though no less profoundly, to his personality as a poet: 26 See, for example, as described in M.

And it appears that he had considerable promise as a ballet dancer—so con­ siderable in fact that his parents not only had their "prodigy" display his talent to friends but went so far as to discuss the possibility of professional schooling. This possibility was ruled out, however (to Khodasevich's permanent regret), be­ cause of recurrent health problems; with the appearance of bronchitis at age six, it was decided by Dr. " If classical ballet, as Khodasevich's own statements in­ dicate, was a powerful force in shaping the poet's artistic personality, and thus presumably his art, how far can the balletic analogy be taken?

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