Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi Book

Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi by Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya (Teffi)

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Early in her literary career Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya, born in St. Petersburg in 1872, adopted the pen-name of Teffi, and it is as Teffi that she is remembered. In prerevolutionary Russia she was a literary star, known for her humorous satirical pieces; in the 1920s and 30s, she wrote some of her finest stories in exile in Paris, recalling her unforgettable encounters with Rasputin, and her hopeful visit at age thirteen to Tolstoy after reading War and Peace. In this selection of her best autobiographical stories, she covers a wide range of subjects, from family life to revolution and emigration, writers and writing.

Like Nabokov, Platonov, and other great Russian prose writers, Teffi was a poet who turned to prose but continued to write with a poet`s sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Like Chekhov, she fuses wit, tragedy, and a remarkable capacity for observation; there are few human weaknesses she did not relate to with compassion and understanding.

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Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya (Teffi)

A book by Nadezhda Alexandrovna Lokhvitskaya (Teffi)

Nadezhda Aleksandrovna Teffi (Lokhvitskaya) The younger sister of the poet Mirra Lokhvitskaya, took the pseudonym Teffi in honor of one of the heroes Rudyard Kipling. She was known for her satirical poems and feuilletons, and was a regular contributor to the Satyricon magazine. Teffi`s satire often had a very original character: for example, the 1905 poem "From Mickiewicz" is based on a parallel between the well-known ballad of Adam Mickiewicz "Voivode" and a specific, recent event of the day. Teffi`s stories were systematically published by such authoritative Parisian newspapers and magazines as "Coming Russia", "Link", "Russian Notes", "Modern Notes". Nicholas II was a fan of Teffi, and sweets were named after Teffi. At the suggestion of Lenin, stories of the 1920s, which described the negative aspects of emigrant life, were published in the USSR in the form of pirated collections until the writer made a public accusation [source not specified 131 days]. After the closure in 1918 of the newspaper "Russian Word", where Teffi worked, she went to Kiev and Odessa with literary performances. This trip brought her to Novorossiysk, from where in the summer of 1919 she went to Turkey [8]. In the fall of 1919 she was already in Paris, and in February 1920 two of her poems appeared in a Parisian literary magazine, in April she organized a literary salon [6] [9]. In 1922-1923 she lived in Germany. From the mid-1920s she lived in a de facto marriage with Pavel Andreevich Tikston (d.

1935). She died on October 6, 1952 in Paris, two days later she was buried in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris and was buried in the Russian cemetery of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. She was called the first Russian comedian of the beginning of the 20th century, “the queen of Russian humor”, but she was never a supporter of pure humor, she always combined it with sadness and witty observations of the surrounding life. After emigration, satire and humor gradually cease to dominate in her work, observations of life acquire a philosophical character.

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