It is 1915 and what can save Russia?
In all its spectacular hypocrisy the Tsarist regime is leading the war effort, untrained soldiers are being sent out onto the battlefield without boots or rifles, and food and fuel shortages maim the nation at every turn. What can save Russia?Millions of refugees, deserters and prisoners of war criss-cross the vast continent in hope of a different life while the seedy underbelly of cabaret night clubs proliferate to soak up the lost. What can save Russia?
In the words of the great Russian novelist Dostoyevsky – only beauty can save the world.
Take Ink & Weep is a storyof four remarkable Russian poets in their early twenties who try to save their world with the beauty of their poetry: Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam and Marina Tsvetaeva. They write poetry to give voice to the suffering, to give witness to the atrocities and to ensure that this moment in their history will never be forgotten.
When Russia joins the Entente Powers in 1914 it leaves behind the Belle Epoque, with its whimsy and bohemia, only to be devastated by the losses and horror of the Eastern Front.
Each one of these poets respond to the war differently. Their lives and their poetry attempt to offer insight into the mayhem of the Eastern Front, the rise of Bolshevism, the fall of the Romanovs and the powerful role Art plays in strengthening the human spirit. They are the darlings of their cities and their popularity attest to the beauty that is salvageable in the worn torn lives of Russia.
Take Ink & Weep is a poetic phrase from Boris Pasternak and speaks to the importance of giving witness to the great human dramas (from unrequited love to the carnage of war), no matter the cost. From the most lauded poets of their day they were to become victims to Stalin’s Red Terror but for here and now this novel tells the story of one year in their lives. Young men and women whose poetic beauty saved Russia.
Published by First Rider Publishing
Genre: Historical fiction
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Elizabeth is a writer of nonfiction and fiction. Heaney’s words “Walk on air, against better judgement” has become her talisman for life. In other words - be bold!
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