Other literary forms

(World Poets and Poetry)

In addition to his poetry, Vladislav Khodasevich (kuh-DAY-zah-vihch) published many critical essays and memoirs. The most important of these are collected in Nekropol’ (1939), Literaturnye stat’i i vospominaniia (1954), and Belyi koridor: Isbrannaia proza v dvukh tomakh (1982). His biography of the eighteenth century poet Gavrila Derzhavin (Derzhavin, 1931) is also notable. As is the case with Khodasevich’s poetry, very little of his prose is available in English translation.


(World Poets and Poetry)

Vladislav Khodasevich was one of the most highly regarded Russian poets of his time and is one of the least known poets in modern times. Twelve years of poetic silence before his death contributed to that obscurity, and a virtual ban on publishing his work in the then Soviet Union as well as difficult relations within the Russian émigré community in Western Europe negatively affected his reputation for years. Interest in him revived in the 1980’s, when a growing interest in him emerged in both the Soviet Union and the West.


(World Poets and Poetry)

Bethea, David M. Khodasevich: His Life and Art. 1983. Reprint. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986. A thorough study by a leading Western expert on Khodasevich. The monograph examines Khodasevich’s life and works, underscoring his main achievements in poetic artistry and his contribution to the Russian literature at home and in exile.

Brintlinger, Angela. Writing a Usable Past: Russian Literary Culture, 1917-1937. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2000. Contains two chapters on Khodasevich, one concerning Derzhavin and the other on the writer’s view of Alexander Pushkin. Notes Khodasevich’s devotion to the past.

Hughes, Robert P. “Khodasevich: Irony and Dislocation—A Poet in Exile.” In The Bitter Air of Exile: Russian Writers in the West, 1922-1972, edited by Simon Karlinsky and Alfred Appel, Jr. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Main stations in Khodasevich’s life are marked, followed by brief but pertinent comments on his poetry and his place in Russian literature.

Khodasevich, Valentina, and Olga Margolina-Khodasevich. Unpublished Letters to Nina Berberova. Edited by R. D. Sylvester. Berkeley, Calif.: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 1979. Previously unpublished letters casting light on Khodasevich. Bibliographical references, illustrated.

Kirilcuk, A. “The Estranging Mirror: The Poetics of Reflection in the Late Poetry of Vladislav Khodasevich.” Russian Review 61, no. 3 (2002): 377-390. Provides an analysis of the later poetry, which treats of spiritual and material worlds.

Miller, Jane A. “Kodasevi’s Gnostic Exile.” South and East European Journal 28, no. 2 (1984): 223-233. Miller concentrates on Khodasevich’s exile poetry, notably on Tyazhelaya lira and Evropeiskaya noch’. She points out the success of the former and the relative failures of the latter. She also broaches the question of creativity and the artist, especially his mirror of himself and his relation to the material world around him.

Nabokov, Vladimir. “On Khodasevich.” In The Bitter Air of Exile: Russian Writers in the West, 1922-1972, edited by Simon Karlinsky and Alfred Appel, Jr. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. A terse but significant article on Khodasevich, written in 1939 in Russian on his death. The article has added weight because it was written by another famous writer in exile.

Rubins, Maria. Twentieth-Century Russian Émigré Writers. Vol. 317 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Brief essay on Khodasevich discusses his life and works.