Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681372686
Pages: 280
Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Portraits without Frames

by Lev Ozerov, introduction by Boris Dralyuk, edited by Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk, translated from the Russian by Maria Bloshteyn, Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk, and Irina Mashinski


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An NYRB Classics Original

December 2018 selection for the NYRB Classics Book Club.

We stopped and Shklovsky told me
quietly, but clearly,
“Remember, we are on our way out.
On our way out.” And I recalled
...the wall of books,
all written by a man
who lived
in times that were hard to bear.

Lev Ozerov’s finest book, Portraits Without Frames comprises fifty intimate, skillfully crafted accounts of meetings with important figures, ranging from fellow poets Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, to prose writers Isaac Babel and Andrey Platonov, to artists and composers Vladimir Tatlin and Dmitry Shostakovich. It is both a testament to an extraordinary life and a perceptive mini-encyclopedia of Soviet culture. Composed in delicate, rhythmic free verse, Ozerov’s portraits are like nothing else in Russian poetry.

ozerov dralyuk