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2017-11-12 10:33:27
Shvarts, Elena
Orkestr [Orchestra]. Samizdat edition
Moscow: self-published, 1978. Fifty-three unbound leaves of carbon copy typescript to rectos, onion skin paper (30 × 20.5 cm), with title and foreign words filled in by hand (by the author or typist). Very good. Samizdat edition of the second collection of poems by Elena Shvarts (1948-2010), one of the key figures of the Leningrad unofficial literary scene. Intensely spiritual and stylistically unorthodox, Shvarts's poetry could not be published in Russia until Perestroika. In addition to illicitly reproduced samizdat copies, it appeared in various émigré publications in Paris and the American "Ardis" publisher. Increasingly, Shvarts's work is being studied not just in Russia, but by Western scholars; a recent article characterizes her writing thus: "The world of the unseen, with its spirits and demons, takes on nearly tangible form in the verse of the St. Petersburg poet Elena Shvarts. In visions both playful and somber, Shvarts conveys a spirituality that derives from intense exploration of the self" (Goldstein 2015, 239). Parts of the present collection were first published in the Leningrad samizdat journal Chasy (The Hours), while others appeared here first. The indication of Moscow as the origin of this samizdat copy may have been a ruse. Apart from contributions in the samizdat journals Chasy and Obvodnyi kanal, KVK and OCLC show no Shvarts samizdat titles.
Bookseller: Penka Rare Books, ILAB
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