Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva: Two Extremely Loud Voices
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Lecture Highlights
One of them lived to be 80 years old, the other one did not even reach 50. One of them was a truly Petersburgian poet, the other one loved Moscow. One of them has lost her husband and her close friend, the other one has lost her child. One of them is completely elegiac and humble in her poesy, she is silence; the other one is always moving, rebellious, she is fighting and whirling.

They were connected by several poems that they devoted to one another, long correspondence and only one personal meeting that became a disappointment for both of them. They were brought together by the incredible power of completely different but ingenius lyrics and the ruthless and tragic 20th century. And this is why it is possible to dislike their loud voices, but it is impossible not to hear them. Let's listen to them in our lecture!
discuss established and lesser-known facts from the biographies of two great women;
talk about the complicated friendly-competitive relationship of the poets;
see how their texts are composed poetically;
try to answer the question about the tragedy of the 20th century in the context of Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva.
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Who is the lecturer?
I love Nabokov for his delicious and tart language, Dostoevsky for his deep and lingering meanings, and modern Russian literature for the fact that it actually exists.

In my spare time, I read book reviews, write about books, and make lists of books to read.

I think that a book is not a source of knowledge, but of pleasure. Literature gives us, first of all, not the wise thoughts put there by the author, but those thoughts that are born in us. That’s why I deeply respect philologists, because sometimes an interpretation is much more interesting, wiser and more versatile than the book itself.
Alisa Novozhenina
Literary critic (St. Petersburg State University), teacher of Russian language and literature
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