The great Russian poetess on stage

TSVETAEVA, Marina Ivanovna

Konets Kazanovy

[The End of Casanova]

Publication: Sozvezdie, Moskva, 1922.

TSVETAEVA, Marina Ivanovna, Konets Kazanovy

Tsvetaeva’s play in verses and ‘declaration of love for Casanova’. The only life-time book edition – with the original decorated wrappers.

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Our Notes & References

Initially written as Part III of her play ‘Feniks’ (Phoenix), intended for the Moscow Arts Theatre. Tsvetaeva depicts the last adventure of Casanova, with a 13-year-old girl in love with him. The dialogue is extremely alive, the verse throughout the whole scene is extraordinarily energetic, dynamic and nervous, and it fully reveals the distinctive quality of Marina Tsvetaeva, her incomparable poetic temperament. The initial monologue is written by paired four-stop iamb, then alternating with five-stop; at the end there are anapaestic dimensions; most of all, the iambic tetrameter, unusually nervous, cut up with dialogue intonations and enjambments. With regards to the genre, it sits somewhere between a poem and a verbal theatre.

Tsvetaeva argued that this edition of 2000 copies was not authorised by her; yet, it contains her famous attack on theatre titled ‘Dva slova o teatre’ (Two words on theatre), where she argues that her text is not a play, but “a poem – simply love, 1001th declaration of love for Casanova”.


Robert Eden Martin (b. 1940; American lawyer and noted collector of Russian, British and American literature works).


Shainian Natalia Bagratovna. “Ideinyi i obraznyi analiz pesy M. I. Tsvetaevoi “Feniks””, in Teatr. Zhivopis’. Kino. Muzyka, no. 4, 2012, pp. 9-28.

Item number



Physical Description

Duodecimo (14.2 x 10 cm). 80 pp. incl. title.


Original printed wrappers designed by Olga Soloveva and bound in near contemporary half cloth over marbled boards.


Binding rubbed, upper pastedown with mark of previous bookplate, upper wrappers with repaired tears, title with various marks incl. an erased stamp, some leaves mounted on guards, the occasional closed tear due to paper quality.

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