TSVETAEVA, Marina Ivanovna (1892-1941). Four autograph letters, three signed with initials ('M Ts' and 'M') to Liudmila Vasil'evna Vepritskaia, Golitsyno, 9 January - 5 February 1940, in Russian, in the first letter writing in '40 degrees of frost' of cold and hunger, bemoaning that no-one, except her correspondent, loves her for herself, but only for her poetry, commenting on her loneliness and the behaviour of her neighbours; then discussing literary matters including a poem about synthetic rubber, mentioning a 1921 poem by Maiakovskii and transcribing 16 lines from one of her poems written in 1918; on 29 January asking about a book given to her by Boris Pasternak, which her correspondent was to have transcribed, and referring to a book of her own poems that needs to be written in the new orthography, decribing Pasternak's recent visit while he was finishing his translation of 'Hamlet', transcribing 8 lines from 'Staraia dura', and giving news of her own translations and family matters; on 3 February continuing about the urgency of copying of her book, searching for other works published abroad, and hoping for help from publishers while working on various projects; on 5 February thanking Vepritskaia for a letter, mentioning her delight in the poems of Tiuchev and musing on the character of Tatiana in Pushkin's 'Eugene Onegin', also worrying about where to live as her room is to be turned into a kindergarten, written on lined paper, 14 pages, 4to and 12mo, with three autograph envelopes.
Marina Tsvetaeva, the renowned poet and translator, and her son followed her husband, Sergei Efron, and daughter Ariadne to Moscow from exile in Paris in the summer of 1939. Pasternak obtained work for her translating for the State Publishing House. Following a brief happy period of family life, her world fell apart on the arrest of Ariadne and Efron in the autumn. These letters to the journalist and author of children's stories, L.V. Vetpritskaia (1902-1987), reflect her distress and loneliness, and her poverty, partly a consequence of her slowness at translation for which she was paid only on completion of a project. Pasternak's constant friendship was one of her few consolations and she describes his visit and their walk, 'He at once abandoned the last lines of his Hamlet in translation and came to me without delay, and we walked together until 1 a.m. under falling snow, and I felt light at heart'. In August 1941 she was evacuated from Moscow with her son to Yelabuga, where 10 days later she committed suicide. (7)