By Diana L. Burgin
The climate in Moscow is sweet, there is no cholera, there is additionally no lesbian love...Brrr! Remembering these people of whom you write me makes me nauseous as though i might eaten a rotten sardine. Moscow does not have them--and that is marvellous."
—Anton Chekhov, writing to his writer in 1895
Chekhov's barbed remark indicates the weather within which Sophia Parnok used to be writing, and is an extra testomony to to the energy and self belief with which she pursued either her own and inventive lifestyles. writer of 5 volumes of poetry, and lover of Marina Tsvetaeva, Sophia Parnok used to be the single overtly lesbian voice in Russian poetry in the course of the Silver Age of Russian letters. regardless of her particular contribution to trendy Russian lyricism even though, Parnok's lifestyles and paintings have basically been forgotten.
Parnok used to be now not a political activist, and he or she had no engagement with the feminism vogueish in younger Russian highbrow circles. From a tender age, even if, she deplored all kinds of male posturing and condescension and felt alienated from what she known as patriarchal virtues. Parnok's method of her sexuality used to be both forthright. Accepting lesbianism as her average disposition, Parnok said her relationships with ladies, either sexual and non-sexual, to be the centre of her artistic existence.
Diana Burgin's greatly researched lifetime of Parnok is intentionally woven round the poet's personal account, noticeable in her writings. The ebook is split into seven chapters, which mirror seven usual divisions in Parnok's existence. This lends Burgin's paintings a specific poetic resonance, because of its structural affinity with certainly one of Parnok's final and maximum poetic achievements, the cycle of affection lyrics Ursa significant. devoted to her final lover, Parnok refers to this cycle as a seven-star of verses, after the seven stars that make up the constellation. Parnok's poems, translated the following for the 1st time in English, additional to a wealth of biographical fabric, make this ebook a desirable and lyrical account of an enormous Russian poet. Burgin's paintings is key examining for college kids of Russian literature, lesbian background and women's studies.
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Thus no attempt has been made to homogenize that diversity, and no agenda exists to attempt to carve out a “politically correct” lesbian studies perspective at this juncture in history or to pinpoint the “real” lesbians in history. It seems more important for all the voices to be heard before those with the blessings of aftersight lay the mantle of authenticity on any one vision of the world, or on any particular set of women. What each work in this series does share, however, is a common realization that gay women are the “Other” and that one’s perception of culture and literature is filtered by sexual behaviors and preferences.
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What each work in this series does share, however, is a common realization that gay women are the “Other” and that one’s perception of culture and literature is filtered by sexual behaviors and preferences. Those perceptions are not the same as those of gay men or of nongay women, whether the writers speak of gay or feminist issues or whether the writers choose to look at nongay figures from a lesbian perspective. The role of this series is to create space and give a voice to those interested in lesbian studies.