To the Memory of Childhood

Lidiia Korneevna Chukovskaia, Author Northwestern University Press $24.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-8101-0789-2
Soviet writer and editor Chukovskaya ( Sophie Petrovna ) lovingly recalls her father, the eminent literary critic and children's book author, Kornei Chukovsky, who died in 1969. The 17 chaptersmore a series of vignettes than a chronological accountreveal Chukovsky's powerful affinity for poetry, words and games (excluding card-playing, which suggested to him idleness and mediocrity); the insomnia that gripped him for much of his life; and his role in the rich intellectual life of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Students of Russian culture will enjoy the ordinary tidbits offered about Chukovsky's anything but ordinary peersthe painter Repin and the poet Nekrasov to name just a few; the uninitiated will appreciate the biographical glossary that translator Klose wisely includes. Chukovskaya is occasionally repetitive and her mother is noticeably absent; nevertheless, the myriad ways in which a father shaped the life of a daughterone who has kept writing despite government suppressioncombined with evocative images, give the memoirs depth and tenderness. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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