Synopses & Reviews
This is the story of an extraordinary friendship and an extraordinary poet seen through the prism of an extraordinary time and place--the upside-down world of Moscow just after the Revolution. By the time Sergei Esenin (1895-1925) met Mariengof in 1918, his lyrical verse had made him a national celebrity. The cultivated Mariengof found the peasant-born Esenin provincial at first. But soon the two would be sitting up at night hammering out their Imagist manifesto. Mariengof traces Esenin's career in Bohemian Moscow as well as in Europe where the poet travelled with his exotic and much older wife, the American dancer Isadora Duncan. A self-described genius, Esenin was devastated by his non-reception in the West where no one knew him (or read poetry). His response was to ignore the West, moving through it like a blind man. When Esenin divorced Duncan and returned to Moscow, he was a changed man: crushed by the West, disillusioned by Soviet Russia. As well as increasingly unstable and alcoholic. Soon after parting company with the Imagists, he hung himself, having written a last poem in his own blood.
"Esenin was a living, vibrant hub of that artistic energy which we call the highest manifestation of Mozartian talent and the Mozartian element." --Boris Pasternak
"Anatoly Mariengof's controversial memoir, A Novel Without Lies
, hidden away for so long in the closed holdings of Soviet public libraries, deserves to be widely known. Mariengof concentrates on the bohemian lives of the Imagist poets in 1919-22, and presents a candid, yet affectionate, portrait of his closest friend, the famous poet Sergei Esenin. Mariengof's tone tends to be cynical and condescending, racy and often sarcastic; he does not aspire to scholarly meticulousness or chronological exactitude. With its lively style and unique psychological insight, this memoir has abiding value, both for the scholar and the general reader." --Gordon McVay, author of Esenin: a Life
and Isadora and Esenin
The turbulent life of the great poet Yesenin against the flamboyant background of Bohemian Moscow in the 1920.
"Exaltation, hope, despair and a passion for a transfigured future combined with savage humor and intoxicated imagery."—The Times Literary Supplement
The turbulent life of a great poet against the flamboyant background of 1920s Bohemian Moscow. With its lively style and psychological insight, this memoir about Sergei Esenin has abiding value for scholar and general reader alike.
About the Author
Anatoly Mariengof (1897-1962) is the author of Cynics (see Glas One), set in Moscow during the years of War Communism and Lenins New Economic Policy. A time despite the hunger, cold, and communist terror of youthful passions and great hope. Writes Mariengof: It was an interesting age, young, spirited, eventful and philosophical.”
Novel Without Lies is a story of "the last poet of wooden Russia" Sergey Esenin (18951925), a leader of Russian imagism, one of the dominant artistic trends of the 1920s that was notorious for its romantic amoralism and aesthetic provocation. Mariengof and Esenin stayed inseparable until 1922 when Mariengof married the actress Anna Nikritina and Esenin married Isadora Duncan. Mariengof paints an unvarnished portrait of his old friend. First published in 1927, the book was soon banned as an insult to the peoples poet”. It was reprinted only in 1988.
"Esenin was a living, vibrant hub of that artistic energy which, to quote Pushkin, we call the highest manifestation of Mozartian talent and Mozartian element."--Boris Pasternak.