- Photograph of Anna Akhmatova
- The Unpublished Verse of Anna Akhmatova
- Debut, Photograph of Joseph Brodsky at Anna Akhmatova’s funeral & To a Tyrant
- Joseph Brodsky: Portrait of the Poet, 1978-1996.
- Photograph of Boris Leonidovich Pasternak, 1890-1960.
- Doctor Zhivago
- Reproduction of a printed list of Ardis publications...
- Reproduction of a page from Lily Brik’s notebook...
- Pale Fire
- Meyerhold the Director
Boris Solomonovich Meilakh.
Неизданное стихотворение Анны Ахматовы.
[The Unpublished Verse of Anna Akhmatova.].
Typescript. Ardis Archive.
Meilakh, a critic and scholar of Russian literature, wrote this article concerning the papers of Hyperboraea, a publishing house that existed in the second decade of the twentieth century and published some of Akhmatova’s works. It came to the University of Michigan Library as part of the Ardis Archive.
Joseph Brodsky, 1940-1996.
Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1973.
Photograph of Joseph Brodsky at Anna Akhmatova’s funeral in 1966
(originally published in Russian Literature Triquarterly, by Ardis).
“To a Tyrant.” Translated from the Russian by Alan Myers. Broadside.
Printed by The Toothpaste Press, . Inscribed by the author.
Joseph Brodsky: Portrait of the Poet, 1978-1996.
New York: Russian Publishing House, 1998.
Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad, where he attended school until the age of fifteen and then took odd jobs, studying English and Polish on his own and writing poetry. He shared a close relationship with Anna Akhmatova, who became his mentor. After serving a portion of a five-year term in a labor camp in northern Russia, he was forced into exile from the Soviet Union. He moved to the United States in 1972 and taught at several institutions, including the University of Michigan. He published one of his first books of poetry in English in 1973 with Ardis. In 1987 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 1991 he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. Brodsky died at his home in Brooklyn in 1996.
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak, 1890-1960.
The first Russian edition. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959.
Pasternak was a writer who associated with many different poets, but never affiliated with a specific group. He had a consistent publishing record into the 1940s, when many of his friends could not publish at all, or simply disappeared overnight. There has been some speculation that he was saved by his 1935 translation of Georgian poetry, From the Georgian Poets, which was favored by Stalin who was Georgian. Two things certainly operated in his favor: he never achieved the high profile of someone like Akhmatova, and, therefore, escaped notice; and his poetry was totally removed from the political arena, focusing on the details of tangible existence and their relationship to the universe. Although he was frequently condemned for his individualism, Pasternak survived and continued to write (and occasionally publish).
Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago portrayed the life of a poet who refused to stop writing, at the expense of everything else of value. The novel was an allegory of Pasternak’s “art for art’s sake” position on his own art and exposed government restrictions on writers and artists. Thus the book was published outside Russia and initially in translation. Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 (which he was not permitted to receive in person). This marked the final years of what Carl Proffer referred to as the “Iron Age,” when people feared the repercussions of smuggling literature out of Russia.
The first Russian edition of Doctor Zhivago was published by the University of Michigan Press in 1959, just two years after the publisher Feltrinelli had produced the Italian first edition. Publication of the Russian edition was complicated by negotiations with Feltrinelli over publication rights, which accounts for the very detailed copyright statement on the verso of the title page, also reproduced here.
Reproduction of a printed list of Ardis publications, inscribed by Ellendea Proffer of Ardis.
Reproduction of a page from Lily Brik’s notebook, which concerns Boris Pasternak’s poetry and contains an excerpt from it.
Ardis was founded by Carl and Ellendea Proffer while Carl was a professor at the University of Michigan. Thanks to their foresight and in-depth knowledge of Russian and Soviet literature and culture, Ardis published a large body of Russian writings and criticism that were otherwise unavailable.
The Ardis Archive was donated to the University of Michigan Library and is now available for research use. These files include manuscripts, typescripts, proofs, correspondence, photographs, tapes, and books, along with copies of original documents held elsewhere, such as Lily Brik’s notebook. Among the holdings are works by Nadezhda and Osip Mandel’shtam, Boris Pil’niak, Boris Pasternak, Aleksei Remizov and Vladimir Nabokov. The University of Michigan Library also holds the Ardis publications in its circulating collection.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, 1899-1977.
Vladimir Nabokov was born in Saint Petersburg into nobility. After emigrating to Berlin, his father helped found the publishing house Slovo [The Word], which took the Bronze Horseman, symbol of Peter the Great, as its mark. The younger Nabokov published two books of poetry while still in Russia, and two more while at Cambridge. By 1925 he was living on the Continent and publishing mainly prose in Russian or English. Although he was long recognized as a writer of merit in Europe (mainly under the pseudonym V. Sirin), he did not enjoy writing success in the United States until Lolita was published in 1955.
The Ardis Archive contains Russian translations in typescript for two of Nabokov’s novels: Pale Fire and Pnin. The page from Pale Fire shown here contains the dedication to his wife Vera. In the 1970s, at a time when Nabokov was recognized by critics and scholars as a major twentieth-century writer in English, Ardis began publishing his works written originally in Russian, his English-language works translated into Russian, and works about him. This paved the way for study of him as a multilingual writer with a Russian heritage.
Konstantin Lazarevich Rudnitskii, 1920-?
[Meyerhold the Director.].
Vsevolod Emil’evich Meierkhol’d, 1874-1940, was a great innovator in the Russian theater. Thanks to this director’s work, the stage no longer separated the audience from the actors, and the set no longer became a barrier. In order to maximize and accommodate this interaction, Meierkhol’d devised new stage schemes (see example in Dance, Music, Theatre section). Meierkhol’d saw the actor as a (biomechanical) medium for expressing the director’s ideas, and in that sense came close to incorporating constructivist concepts into his approach.
Rudnitskii’s extensive footnotes to his critical study of Meierkhol’d did not appear in the original Russian edition, only being made available to readers with the Ardis edition in English in 1981. The typescript shown here contains a footnote in the original Russian concerning the play “Balaganchik” and its relation to commedia della arte.