28 November 2018
AKHMATOVA, Anna (1889-1966). 'Poema bez geroia. Triptikh 1940-1946' [Poem Without a Hero. Tryptic 1940-1946], a corrected carbon typescript, c. 15 July 1946.
Carbon typescript, 32 leaves octavo (210 x 150mm), recto only, with manuscript additions or emendations on 11 leaves in purple and blue inks (negligible wear). Stab-stitched and bound between two leaves of cream card (light staining; short tears); custom red morocco backed slipcase and chemise. Provenance: Anna Akhmatova (inscription dated 15 July 1946 to:) – Aleksei Fedorovich Kozlovskii (1905-1977, composer).
An early corrected typescript of her masterpiece, presented an inscribed by Akhmatova to her friend the composer Aleksei Kozlovskii. Akhmatova began work on 'Poem Without a Hero' in 1940, completed much of it while in Tashkent – where she met Kozlovskii – and continued reworking it into the 1960s. Corrected typescripts from the 1940s are very rare: the Pushkin Museum's jubilee exhibition dedicated to Akhmatova featured various corrected typescripts but all dated between 1955 and 1963 (cf. cat. nos. 11-17).
Akhmatova formed a close friendship with Kozlovskii when she was evacuated to Tashkent, where she lived from late 1941 to May 1944; she visited often, and attended all his concerts. The friendship continued after Akhmatova's return to St Petersburg; she dedicated the poem 'Iavlenie luny' from her 'Luna v zenite' cycle (1944) to Kozlovskii, and sent him this corrected typescript in 1946.
Akhmatova made salient manuscript emendations to at least eleven leaves of this typescript, including: three verses in Russian added to the end of 'Vtoroe posviashchenie'; a poignant epigram from Shakespeare added to open 'Chast pervaia' ('Heaven knows what she has known'); approximately thirty words in English in the final leaf of notes, presumably because Akhmatova's typewriter lacked the Latin alphabet characters. A few additional leaves bear more minor marks and emendations. The text of this typescript conforms to the third of nine versions of the draft identified by Professor Natalia Kraineva, what she terms an early 'Tashkent' version composed in 1944 (Kraineva, p.99). Anna Akhmatova 1889-1966. Materialy iubileinoi vystavki (St Petersburg: Pushkin Museum, 2009); Kraineva, Anna Akhmatova. Poema bez geroia. Proza o poeme (St Petersburg: 2009). (See also lots 102 and 103)
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