Other literary forms

(World Poets and Poetry)

Osip Mandelstam (muhn-dyihl-SHTAHM) was writing essays on Russian and European literature as early as 1913. Many of the theoretical essays were collected, some in considerably revised or censored form, in O poezii (1928; About Poetry, 1977). These, as well as his otherwise uncollected essays and reviews, are available in their original and most complete versions in Sobranie sochinenii (1955, 1964-1971, 1981; Collected Works, 1967-1969). Mandelstam’s prose was not republished in the Soviet Union, with the exception of his single most important essay, “Razgovor o Dante” (“Conversation About Dante”), written in 1933 but not published until 1967, when an edition of twenty-five thousand copies sold out immediately and was not reprinted. Mandelstam’s prose has been seen both as a key to deciphering his poetry and as a complex body of nonpoetic discourse of great independent value. All his prose has been translated into English.