Tsvetaeva Marina Ivanovna


Tsvetaeva Marina Ivanovna was born on September 26 (October 8, Old Style), 1892, in Moscow family. Marina’s father – I. V. Tsvetaev - professor and art historian, founder of Moscow Museum of Fine Arts named after A.S. Pushkin, mother – M. A. Mayne (died in 1906), a pianist, a apprentice of A. G. Rubinstein, grandfather of stepbrother and stepsister – historian D.I. Ilovaisky.

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As a child Tsvetaeva lived for long periods in Italy, Switzerland, Germany because of her mother's illness (consumption); breaks in gymnasium education were recompensed by studies in boarding schools in Lausanne and Freiburg. Her French and German were fluent. In 1909 he attended a course of French literature at Sorbonne.

Creative work.

She began writing poetry at the age of six (not only in Russian, but also in French and German), wrote for publications since sixteen, and two years later she released a collection “Night album” in secret from her family; it was noticed and approved by such exacting critics as Brusov, Gumilev and Voloshin. From the first meeting with Voloshin and talks about poetry their friendship began, despite the considerable difference in age. She visited Voloshin in Koktebel many times. Collections of her poetry came one after another, consistently attracting the attention by their artistic identity and originality. She did not join to any of the literary currents.

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In 1912 Tsvetaeva married Sergey Efron, who became not only her husband but also her closest friend. The years of First World War, Revolution and Civil War were the time of rapid growth of Tsvetaeva’s creativity. She lived in Moscow, wrote a lot, but almost was not published. She did not accept October Revolution, considering it as an uprising of “satanic forces”. In the literary world Tsvetaeva still stood apart.

In May 1922 she and her daughter Ariadna were allowed to go abroad to her husband, who survived the defeat of Denikin and being a white officer became a student at Prague University. At first, Tsvetaeva and her daughter lived in Berlin a little, then spent three years in the suburbs of Prague and in November 1925 after son's birth the family moved to Paris. Their life was emigrant, hard, poverty-stricken. Life in capitals was beyond their incomes, had to settle in the suburbs or surrounding villages.

In spite of everything, creative energy of Tsvetaeva continued unabated: in 1923 in Berlin the publishing house “Helikon” published a book “Craft”, it was highly appraised by critics. In 1924, during the Prague period – poems “Poem of the Mountain”, “Poem of the End”. In 1926 she finished the poem “Pied Piper”, started in Czech Republic, worked on the poems “From the Sea”, “Poem of Stairs”, “Poem of the Air”, etc. Most of created left unpublished: if at first Russian emigration accepted Tsvetaeva as one of them, very soon her independence, her intransigence, her obsession with poetry determine her complete isolation. She did not take part in any poetic or political directions. There was “no one read, no one to ask, no one to rejoice”, “alone for the whole life, no books, no readers, no friends ...”. The last lifetime collection was edited in Paris in 1928 – “After Russia”, it included poems written in 1922-1925.

By 1930-s Tsvetaeva seemed to see the clear line, separating her from white emigration: “My failure in emigration is because I am not an immigrant, spiritually, i.e. by air and swing, I am – there, there, from there ...”. In 1939 she regained her Soviet citizenship and following her husband and daughter returned to her homeland. She dreamed that she would return to Russia as “welcome and awaited guest”. But this did not happen: husband and daughter were arrested, her sister Anastasia was in the camp. Tsvetaeva lived in Moscow in isolation, somehow kept going with translations.

Tsvetaeva in Elabuga.

In the evening of August 17, 1941, ship “Chuvash Republic” moored to Elabuga pier. 13 people landed on the shore – writers and members of their families evacuated from Moscow. Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva and her son Moore (George Efron) were among them.

Initially, the Muscovites were lodged in the building of Technical School Library, and on August 20 the City Council began to settle them in the apartments. Tsvetaeva and her son were allotted to the house of Brodelschikovy on Voroshilov str., 9. On the same day they got baggage brought from the pier and on August 21 they were registered at the above mentioned address and moved.

Tsvetaeva and her son occupied masters’ bedroom – a small room with three windows. The room was separated by batten wall without a door, besides it, it did not reach the ceiling.

Then it was necessary to find a job. Marina Ivanovna wanted to teach French language. There is a version that she was offered to be an interpreter from German in POW camp. This was unacceptable for her, and she refused.

On August 24 Marina Ivanovna went to Chistopol by boat. There was the bigger part of evacuated writers there. On the evening of August 26 Moore received a telegram from Chistopol: “I am looking for a room. I will come soon. Kisses.” Tsvetaeva returned on August 28. News from Chistopol is described in the diary of her son: “... they promise me a registration. We need to find a room. Work – for the mother it is supposed to be in a farm together with wife and sisters of Aseev, and then, if it comes out – a dishwasher in a dining that will be opened by writers. For me – as an apprentice of turner.

On August 30 departure to Chistopol was appointed, but Marina Ivanovna changed her mind to leave. Friends advised her to find out information about work in state farm, but there was no place for her there.

Voluntary Sunday was held on August 31 in Elabuga: area under airfield was cleaned. One person from each Elabuga and evacuees families had to go on the job. Moore went on voluntary work from Tsvetayev’s family, and from family of Brodelschikovy – missus Anastasia. Her husband, Michael Ivanovich with six-year-old grandson Pavlik went fishing early in the morning. Marina was left alone in the house.

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To son:

”Murlyga, forgive me. But it would be worse. I am seriously ill, it's not me any more. I love you madly. Understand that I could no longer live. Say to dad and Alya – if you see them – that I loved them until the last minute and explain that I was in a dead end”.

To writer Aseev:

Dear Nicholai Nikolaievich! Dear sisters Sinyakovy! I implore you to take Moore to you to Chistopol – just take him as a son – and let him study. I can’t do anything more for him and I am just ruining him. I have 450 roubles in my bag. And try to sell all my stuff. In the trunk there are several handwritten books of poetry and a pack with impressions of prose. I assign them to you. Take care of my dear Moore, he has very fragile health. Love him like a son – he deserves it. And forgive me. I can’t stand it. MT.

Don’t leave him ever. I would be really happy if he stays with you. If you go away – take him with you. Don’t leave him!”

To evacuees:

”Dear comrades! Do not leave Moore. I implore one of you who can take him to Chistopol to Aseev. Steamers are terrible, I implore you not to send him alone. Help him with the luggage – to pack it and carry. In Chistopol I hope for a sale of my things. I want Moore to live and study. He will perish with me. Address of Aseev is on envelope. Don’t bury me alive! Have a good check”.

M.I. Tsvetaeva was buried on September 2, 1941 at municipal Petropavlovsk cemetery. In October of 1960 Anastasia Ivanovna Tsvetaeva unsuccessfully tried to find the grave of her sister, and having not found it, in the southern part of the cemetery, where they buried in 1941, placed a cross with the inscription: “In this side of the cemetery Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva was buried. Born on Sept. 26 old style, 1892 in Moscow = August 31 new style, 1941, Elabuga.

In 1970 the cross was replaced by a granite tombstone, and in 1990 this grave was consecrated by church.


Elabuga-City (?)