Mandelstam - The Essays

Mandelstam, Osip (1891–1938), translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email)

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Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938) was a Russian poet whose work is celebrated for its classical style, density of allusion, and linguistic innovation. His prose works include the manifesto The Morning of Acmeism, and his essays on The Word and Culture, François Villon and Dante Alighieri.

In The Morning of Acmeism, Osip Mandelstam positions Acmeism as a response to Symbolism’s obscurity, advocating for lucidity and tangible imagery in poetry. His essay The Word and Culture, explores poetry’s role in safeguarding vanished eras and civilisations through language. Mandelstam’s engagement with François Villon in On Villon, aligns the medieval poet with Acmeism, underscoring Villon’s influence on this Russian literary movement. Conversation about Dante, delves into the intricacies of Dante’s verse, examining its speech, rhythm, and structure, indicating Mandelstam’s critical engagement with the Italian master’s most influential work. These texts underscore Mandelstam’s commitment to poetic clarity and cultural preservation.

Author Details

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Kline, A. S.

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