Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Women Behind Russia's Most Famous Authors

The Moscow News takes a look.

From the piece...

Nadezhda Mandelstam's brother once commented that she and her husband - the brilliant, doomed poet Osip Mandelstam - were becoming so close that "Nadezhda" seemed no longer to exist.

"That's how we like it," she replied.

Russia's most celebrated writers - including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn and Mandelstam - are often depicted as solitary geniuses. But many of their works were the fruits of creative partnerships with their wives. Far from being passive typists, they served as editors, researchers, translators, publishers and more.

"What people know about is that Sophia copied out Tolstoy's great novels, but it was much more than that," said Alexandra Popoff, author of the 2012 book "The Wives: The Women behind Russia's Literary Giants." "They discussed things together - there was a spark. And without it, the ‘War and Peace' that the world admires wouldn't have been written."

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