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978-0-7391-2083-5 • Hardback • December 2007 • $115.00 • (£88.00)
978-0-7391-2084-2 • Paperback • June 2010 • $51.99 • (£40.00)
978-0-7391-5790-9 • eBook • December 2007 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Donald Loewen is associate professor of Russian at Binghamton University (SUNY).
Chapter 1 Endangered Genre, Endangered Artist
Chapter 2 Early Warning Signs
Chapter 3 The Search for Safe Passage
Chapter 4 Fighting for Breath
Chapter 5 The Poet's Birthright
Chapter 6 A Survivor's Story
The Most Dangerous Art provides a subtle and far-reaching analysis of how poetic culture engaged with political reality in the Soviet era. By focusing on the autobiographical prose of Pasternak, Mandelstam, and Tsvetaeva and by showing how the 'orientation toward authenticity' (Lydia Ginzburg) in such writing places these works and their authors at the center of a force field involving the individual, the state, and the larger human community, Donald Loewen shows once again why 'the Poet' has been such an indispensable figure, indeed perhaps the indispensable figure, in the history of Russian self-consciousness. A beautifully written and powerfully argued study...
— David M. Bethea
— ., May 2008
The greatest strength of the book is its unearthing and tracking of key literary debates between these writers and their opponents within the establishment, citing reviews and articles from newspapers and journals of the time.....
— Belinda Cooke
The Most Dangerous Art is passionately argued and very smoothly written.....
Loewen's approach in The Most Dangerous Art provides a synthesis of the familiar and the original: each chapter opens with a summary of earlier scholarship on the increasingly difficult situation for writers during the Soviet Union's first forty years, the proceeds to often passionate but informed analyses of the autobiographical works in question.... The Most Dangerous Art is well organized, meticulously researched and lucidly argued.... The volume makes a substantive contribution to thefield and will be of particular use to emerging scholars, since it presents both the context and the impact, especialy for the poets' lives, in a single volume...
— Natasha Kolchevska, University of New Mexico