Nikolai Zabolotsky: Play for Mortal Stakes by Darra Goldstein (Williams College, Massachusetts)
Nikolai Zabolotsky (1903-1958) was one of the great poets of twentieth-century Russia. As the last link in the Russian Futurist tradition and the first significant poet to come of age in the Soviet period, Zabolotsky wrote poetry both highly experimental and classical. This book, first published in 1994, was the first critical biography of Zabolotsky to appear in English. Goldstein examines not only Zabolotsky's poetic career but also his life, from his obscure origins in the Russian countryside to his arrest and imprisonment in the 1930s. At the same time, Goldstein highlights the deep ambiguity of Zabolotsky's era by exploring the ways in which the poet was influenced both by the artistic avant-garde and by the Soviet scientific establishment.