A star comes out of eclipse: Vladislav Khodasevich

Reading by Peter Daniels in conversation with Martin Sixsmith

Language: in English

Peter Daniels will read and discuss his translations of poems by Vladislav Khodasevich (1886–1939 ), in conversation with Martin Sixsmith ; Alla Gelich and Masha Karp will read some of the poems in the original.

"Khodasevich is one of the great undiscovered poets of the 20th century."
-Martin Sixsmith

Two months after Seamus Heaney was born, Vladislav Khodasevich died in obscurity in Paris. He is now accorded a place in his country’s 20 th -century pantheon comparable to Heaney’s in Britain. Written out of Russian literary history in the Soviet era because of his emigration in 1922 with his partner Nina Berberova, his name is far less familiar to the wider public in the West than those of celebrated contemporaries like Pasternak and Akhmatova.Using the verse forms of Pushkin, he stands for continuity with pre-Soviet literature. To many strident modernists, with their grand gestures and utopian solutions, his quieter voice seemed anachronistic and irrelevant; today, his classical precision and his doubts, as a solitary figure navigating an unsympathetic, hostile world, seem to have more to say to our time than their confidence.

A number of translators, including prominent English writers and poets, have nibbled at Khodasevich over the decades in journals and anthologies. Peter Daniels, now establishing his own reputation as a poet, is the first to offer a representative selection of his poetry in English. His translations, in parallel with the original texts, are published by Angel Classics in October.

Peter Daniels at Khodasevich’s grave, Boulogne-Billacourt nouveau cimetière, Paris (September 2013) PETER DANIELS began translating Khodasevich while holding a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2009. His own poetry has appeared in several pamphlets, and his first full collection Counting Eggs was published by Mulfran Press in 2012. He has won first prize in the Ledbury (2002), Arvon (2008) and TLS (2010) Poetry Competitions.

(Picture on the left) Peter Daniels, with the cover of his new book of translations of Khodasevich, at the poet's grave, Boulogne-Billancourt nouveau cimetière, Paris (September 2013).

MARTIN SIXSMITH is well known for his work as a BBC foreign correspondent from 1980 to 1997 and his reports from Moscow at the end of the Soviet era. He subsequently worked on and presented three BBC documentaries about Russia. Among his books are Russia: a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East , based on a 50-part series he recently presented for BBC Radio 4, and The Lost Child of Philomena Lee , of which a film has been made starring Judi Dench, to be released in November 2013.

ALLA GELICH , a long-standing member of the Pushkin Club, has given numerous readings of Russian poetry at literary festivals and on other occasions in Great Britain, and in Russia, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

MASHA KARP , Chair of the Pushkin Club and a Trustee of Rights in Russia, is a London-based freelance journalist with a special interest in relations between Russia and the West.

Please note early start: 7pm

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