Soviet Diary 1927 and Other Writings

Sergei Prokofiev, Author, Oleg Prokofiev, Editor, Christopher Palmer, Editor Northeastern University Press $45 (290p) ISBN 978-1-55553-120-1
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) made his first return visit to the Soviet Union in 1927, having left nine years earlier to live in Western Europe. Written in chiseled, spare prose of distinctive beauty and emotive power, this diary of his two-month whirlwind tour provides an unusually detailed glimpse of the pressured world of a frantically busy composer-pianist. It reveals the deep pull that his native culture exerted despite his stance of detachment and despite his wariness of communist bureaucracy and repression. Smoothly translated by painter-sculptor Oleg Prokofiev, the composer's son, this volume offers three complete short stories and two story fragments published here for the first time, including a Chekhovian tale with an ironic touch and a symbolist-surrealist dream strongly echoing his music. A candid 1941 autobiographical sketch throws light on his precocious development and creative process. Illustrated. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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