|Overview of Olga Sedakova's new Four Volume Collection|
This publication is the most extensive (though not complete) collected works of Olga Sedakova to date. “Poetry,” “Translations,” “Poetica” and “Moralia” represent four different directions pursued by a single creative force. This edition does not include material from several other areas of Sedakova’s work: narrative prose, lecture series, poetry and prose for children, an Old Church Slavonic-Russian dictionary of paronyms and works on Slavic antiquity.
Everything that Sedakova writes is marked by the gift of inner freedom – the kind of “moral freedom” that Mandelstam considered the distinctive “gift of the Russian land.” She is moved by a decisive refusal to accept the hopelessness and fatalism that modern thinking and modern art offer as the only viable position – one that, in its own way, has become a convenient one. Sedakova’s work is fed by two contrasting forces: a demanding sobriety and a confiding rapture. She speaks of the beauty of reason and the power of happiness – of that which in her view constitutes the “form-shaping pull of art.”
The first volume contains nearly all the poems Sedakova has written to date. A small selection of early poetry is followed by twelve books printed in their entirety, in chronological order: “The Wild Rose” (1976–1978), “Tristan and Isolde” (1978–1982), “Old Songs” (1980–1981), “Gates. Windows. Arches” (1979–1983), “Stanzas in the Manner of Alexander Pope” (1979–1980), “Stellae and Inscriptions” (1982), “The Iambic Verses” (1984–1985), “The Chinese Travelogue” (1986), “An Unfinished Book” (1990-2000), “The Evening Song” (1996-2005), “Elegies” (1987-2004), “The Beginning of a Book.”