Celebrated poetical tamizdat




Publication: T-vo Zarubezhnikh izdanii, Miunkhen, 1963.

AKHMATOVA, Anna, Rekviem

First edition of one of Akhmatova’s most famous works, considered by many to be her finest. An important tamizdat of one of the best Russian poets; one of 500 copies only.

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First edition of one of Akhmatova’s most famous works. One of 500 copies only.

Written between 1935 and 1940, ‘Requiem’ was not published in Russia until 1987. Two personal dramas in particular – the arrest and imprisonment of her son for 18 years and of her husband, who would finally die in a camp – inspired the specific content of the work, a sequence of poetry and prose portraying some of the full-fledged horrors endured by Soviet citizens who were wrongly imprisoned, as well as the anguish of their relatives, especially the mothers and wives, those women with whom Akhmatova stood in line outside the prison walls.

While Isaiah Berlin had predicted in 1946 that ‘Requiem’ would never be published in the Soviet Union, it was memorised by the author and a few close friends for fear that writing them down would jeopardise their lives. As stipulated by the publisher, the present edition was received “from Russia and published without the consent of the author”, three years before her death. Emblematic denunciation of Stalinist repression and consecutive sufferings, ‘Requiem’ is considered by many to be Akhmatova’s finest work.

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Physical Description

Small octavo (19.2 x 14.2 cm). 23 pp., including first blank, title and a full-page portrait of Akhmatova after Sorine.


Publisher’s wrappers.


Wrappers a bit browned, especially around the edges and stronger on upper cover’s sides, light stain around the spine, just very few and very light colour pencil underlining, edges very lightly discoloured but a fresh example internally.

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