quinta-feira, março 09, 2006

Grandes Aberturas # 11

"After slapping Alexei Tolstoi in the face, M. [Mandelstam] immediately returned to Moscow. From here he rang Akhmatova every day, begging her to come. She was hesitant and he was angry. When she had packed and bought her ticket, her brilliant, irritable husband Punin asked her, as she stood in thought by a window: "Are you praying that this cup should pass from you?" It was he who had once said to her when they were walking through the Tretiakov Gallery: "Now let's go and see how they'll take you to your execution." This is the origin of her lines:

"And later as the hearse sinks in the snow at dusk...
What mad Surikov will describe my last journey?"

But she was not fated to make her last journey like this. Punin used to say, his face twitching in a nervous tic: "They're keeping you for the very end." But in the end they overlooked her and didn't arrest her. Instead, she was always seeing others off on their last journey - including Punin himself."

Nadezhda Mandelstam - Hope Against Hope (Translated from the Russian by Max Hayward)