Indisputably one of the four greatest Russian poets of the twentieth century, Osip Èmilievich Mandelshtam was born in 1891 in Warsaw, the son of a Jewish glove-maker and pianist. Despite the ban on Jews, he moved to Petersburg in early childhood, was brought up in Russian and (like Vladimir Nabokov) spent 8 years at the very liberal Tenishev school. He had some desultory university education in Heidelberg, Paris and St Petersburg, and made an impression before he was 20 with finely wrought poems in Apollon, which in 1912 became the journal of the Acmeists (notably the couple Nikolai Gumilyov and Anna Akhmatova), whose poetry emphasized precision, objectivity, craftsmanship and continuity with the past. Like other Acmeist titles (…
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Rayfield, Donald. "Osip Emilevich Mandelstam". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 February 2015
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