Textual Revision, Stalinist Revisionism, and the Obligations of Memory: Situating Anna Akhmatova's Poem Without a Hero
Mager, Donald N.
Textual revision is the process a poet uses to bring a work's aesthetic aspirations closer to realization. Historical revision is the process by which historians bring narratives of the past into closer alignment with a perceived "truth." This article brings these disparate disciplinary concepts of revision to bear on a reading of Anna Akhmatova's Poem Without A Hero in order to explain more fully her 20 years of changes, additions and deletions. It finds the poem is not only an aesthetic object with which the poet struggled to find an architectural structure and strophic form, but it is also the narration of a liminal and emblematic moment during the siege of Leningrad about which, with the epistemological habits of mind of a historian, the poet struggles to narrate a historical "truth."
Mager, Donald N. "Textual Revision, Stalinist Revisionism, and the Obligations of Memory: Situating Anna Akhmatova's Poem Without a Hero." Issues in integrative studies 23 (2005): 71-98.
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