A Beginning Bibliography of Russian Autobiographies in English Translation
HIS 341 (Spring 2006)
Daniel H. Kaiser
This bibliography, first prepared in 2003, makes no claim to comprehensiveness; indeed, I would welcome suggestions for additions, as well as any corrections (firstname.lastname@example.org). I should note, however, that I have deliberately excluded several whole sets of memoirs available in English. For example, I have not included any Cold War exposes, such as Viktor Kravchenko’s I Chose Freedom. Nor have I included the sizable body of memoirs from the 1917 Revolutions. Of course, both sets of recollections deserve a place in any study of Russian memoirs and autobiographies. At the same time, they represent a special subset of memoir that I did not wish to have students concentrate upon in the seminar for which I compiled this bibliography.
In its first incarnation, this bibliography benefited from the generous counsel of several colleagues and friends, although they deserve no blame for any errors that appear here. Special thanks to Gary Marker, Louise McReynolds, Susan Rupp and Marina Balina for correcting errors and suggesting additional titles.
Avvakum. The Life of Archpriest Avvakum, by himself. Trans. Jane Harrison and Hope Mirrlees. Hamden, CT, 1963. Ibid., trans. Ed. Kenneth N. Brostrom. Ann Arbor, 1979. Generally regarded as the first autobiography in Russian history, Avvakum’s seventeenth-century Life bears a resemblance to the formulaic genre of saints’ lives. His religious tale, however, includes many moments of personal confession that sympathetic readers have interpreted as genuine self-revelation. Originally part of a conservative group called the Zealots of Piety, Avvakum gradually came into conflict with church authorities, especially the new Patriarch, Nikon, when the official church adopted a number of reforms intended to bring Russian liturgy and ceremony closer to Greek (Byzantine) practice. Rejecting these changes as innovations and heretical, Avvakum resisted all efforts to convert him, and he was burned at the stake in 1682.
Herzen, Alexander. My Past and Thoughts. Trans. Constance Garnett. Abridged ed. London, 1973. An abridged version (the translated complete text was published in four volumes) of perhaps the classic autobiography of Russian letters. The illegitimate son of a Moscow nobleman, Herzen comes of age in post-Napoleonic Russia, but his education and romantic sentiments alienate him from the Russia of Nicholas I, and ultimately drive him into emigration where he publishes a Russian-language journal smuggled back into the Russian Empire.
Kanatchikov, Semen. A Radical Worker in Tsarist Russia: The Autobiography of Semen Ivanovich Kanatchikov. Ed., trans. Reginald Zelnik. Stanford, 1986. The most well-known of Russian workers’ autobiographies, this narrative was produced after the 1917 Revolution, but carries the story only up to 1905. Born into a peasant family in 1879, Kanatchikov arrived in Moscow as a teenager. In the urban, industrial world, he made the transition from peasant to “conscious worker,” replicating the experience of workers elsewhere who also wrote up their social and intellectual conversions.
Shostakovich, Dmitrii Dmitrievich. Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich. Transcribed, edited Solomon Volkov; trans. Antonina W. Bouis. NY, 1979. A controversial work whose authenticity has come under considerable scrutiny, since Volkov produced the memoir only some years after Shostakovich’s death and without any clear evidence of Shostakovich having participated in or having authorized the text. For the latest on the controversy, see A Shostakovich casebook, ed. Malcolm Hamrick Brown (Bloomington, 2004) ML410.S53 S46 2004.
Ginzburg, Eugenia. Journey Into the Whirlwind. Trans. Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward. NY, 1967. Probably the best-known memoir of the Soviet era. “An ordinary Communist woman,” as she describes herself in 1937, Ginzburg endured arrest, interrogation, and some 18 years in the Stalinist camps before receiving her release in connection with the amnesty that followed Stalin’s death in 1953. The mother of Vasilii Aksenov, a much loved “young author” in the 1960s and even better known novelist of the post-Soviet era, Ginzburg is an effective stylist in narrating her “journey.” A second volume, Within the Whirlwind (tr. Ian Boland, NY, 1982), carries her story further. Since her death, the records of her interrogations in Kazan’ in the 1930s have been published (Dva sledstvennykh dela Evgenii Ginzburg, [Kazan’, 1994]), raising some issues about the accuracy of her account.
Figner, Vera. Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Trans. Camilia Chapin Daniels. DeKalb, 1991. Born into privilege in the middle of the nineteenth century, Figner nevertheless ended up a member of the Executive Committee of the terrorist group, “People’s Will,” responsible for the assassination of Aleksandr II in 1881. Already as a young woman, Figner had burned with a desire to aid her oppressed countrymen, and to that end had decided to become a physician. Since at the time women could not study medicine in Russia, she decided to go to Switzerland to study, in the process marrying someone so that she could escape her parents’ veto over her plans. While abroad, Figner became deeply involved in studying socialist literature, and consequently returned to Russia with a political agenda that ultimately led to terrorism.
Mandelstam, Nadezhda. Hope Against Hope: A Memoir. Trans. Max Hayward. NY, 1970. idem, Hope Abandoned. Trans. Max Hayward. NY, 1974. Widow of the famed Russian poet, Osip Mandelstam, who was arrested in 1938, allegedly because of a poem he authored that belittled Stalin, and who perished soon thereafter, Nadezhda uses her memoirs both to celebrate her husband’s gift and to describe the rarified intellectual world to which he belonged. Herself an author of considerable accomplishment, Nadezhda Mandelstam nevertheless concentrates much of her attention upon her husband and upon Anna Akhmatova, who was close to Osip.
Khrushchev, Nikita. Khrushchev Remembers. Trans., ed. Strobe Talbott. Boston, 1970. idem, Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament. Trans., ed. Strobe Talbott. Boston, 1974. idem, Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes. Trans., ed. Jerrold L. Schecter with Vyacheslav V. Luchkov. Boston, 1990. A classic memoir of a political heavy of the Soviet era. After having been “retired” by his fellow Communists in 1964, Nikita Khrushchev set out to tape-record his reminiscences. The tapes found their way to the United States, where the first volume appeared in English translation in 1970, but with some notable omissions. After Khrushchev’s 1971 death, a second volume of memoirs appeared, and then, during the so-called “glasnost” era, another volume, this one restoring those portions intentionally deleted from the earlier texts.
_____. Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev. 4
vols. Ed. Sergei N. Khrushchev.
Tr. George Shriver. Vol.
1: Commisar [1918-1945]. University Park, 2004- . DK275.K5
A3 2004 v.1
DK275.K5 A3 2004 v.1
Annenkov, Pavel Vasil’evich. Extraordinary Decade; Literary Memoirs. Ed. Arthur P. Mendel; trans. Irwin R. Titunik. Ann Arbor, 1968.
Babushkin, Ivan Vasil’evich. Recollections of Ivan Vasilyevich Babushkin, 1893-1900. Trans. R. Macilhone. Moscow, 1957.
Bek, Anna Nikolaevna. The life of a Russian woman doctor: A Siberian memoir, 1869-1954. Tr., ed. Anne D. Rassweiler. Bloomington, 2004. R534.B368 A3 2004.
Belliustin, Ioann Stefanovich. Description of the Clergy in Rural Russia: The Memoir of a Nineteenth-Century Parish Priest. Ithaca, NY, 1985.
Breshko-Breshkovskaia, Ekaterina Konstantinovna. The Little Grandmother of the Russian Revolution. Boston, 1917.
Broido, Eva. Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Trans., ed. Vera Broido. London, 1967.
Catherine II, Empress of Russia. The Memoirs of Catherine the Great. Ed. Dominique Maroger, trans. Moura Budberg. NY, 1955. Ibid., NY, 1859.
_____. The memoirs of Catherine the Great. A new translation by Mark Cruse and Hilde Hoogenboom. NY, 2005. DK170.C3213 2005
Dashkova, Ekaterina Romanovna. The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova. Trans. Kirill Fitzlyon. Durham, 1995.
Dolgorukaia, Natalia Borisovna. The Memoirs of Princess Natal’ya Borisovna Dolgorukaja. Trans., ed. Charles E. Townsend. Columbus, 1977.
Dostoevskaia, Anna Grigor’evna (Snitkina). The diary of Dostoeyevsky’s wife. Ed. Rene Fulop-Miller and Dr. Fr. Eckstein. Trans. Madge Pemberton. NY: Macmillan, 1928.
Durova, Nadezhda. The Cavalry Maiden. Journals of a Russian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars. Trans. Mary Fleming Zirin. Bloomington, 1988.
Durova, Nadezhda. The Cavalry Maid: The Memoirs of a Woman Soldier of 1812. Trans. John Mersereau, Jr. and David Lapeza. Ann Arbor, 1988.
Engelgardt, Aleksandr Nikolaevich. Letters from the Country, 1872-1887. NY, 1993.
Gerasimov, Vasilii. “Foster Child of the Foundling Home,” in Reginald E. Zelnik, Law and Disorder on the Narova River: The Kreenholm Strike of 1872. Berkeley, 1995, 270-92.
Golovina, Varvara. Memoirs of Countess Golovine. Trans. G. M. Fox-Davies. London, 1910.
Got’e, Iurii Vladimirovich. Time of Trouble, the Diary of Iurii Vladimirovich Gote: Moscow, July 8, 1918 to July 23, 1922. Trans., ed. Terence Emmons. Princeton, 1988.
Gurko, Vasilii Iosifovich. Memories and Impressions of War and Revolution in Russia, 1914-1917, by General Basil Gourko. London: J. Murray, 1918.
Herzen, Alexander. My Past and Thoughts: The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen. Trans. Constance Garnett. 4 vols. London, 1968.
Kokovtseov, Vladimir Nikolaevich. Out of My Past; the Memoirs of Count Kokovtsov, Russian Minister of Finance, 1904-1914. Ed. H. H. Fisher, tr. Laura Matveev. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1935.
Kollontai, Aleksandra. The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman. Trans. Salvator Attanasio. NY, 1971. Ibid., 1975.
Kosterina, Nina. The Diary of Nina Kosterina. Trans. Mirra Ginsburg. NY: Crown Publishers, 1968.
Kovalevskaia, Sofiia. Sonya Kovalevsky: Her Recollections of Childhood. Trans. Isabel F. Hapgood. NY, 1895.
Kovalevskaia, Sofiia. A Russian Childhood. Ed., tr. Beatrice Stillman. NY, 1978.
Kozhina, Elena Fedotovna. Through the Burning Steppe: A Wartime Memoir. Trans. Vadim Mahmoudov. NY, 2000.
Kropotkin, Petr. Memoirs of a Revolutionist. NY, 1970.
Labzina, Anna Evdokimovna. Days of a Russian Noblewoman: The Memories of Anna Labzina, 1758-1821. Trans. Gary Marker and Rachel May. DeKalb, 2001.
Lugovskaya, Nina. Diary of a Soviet schoolgirl: 1932-1937. Tr. Joanne Turnbull. Chicago, 2003. PG3199.G53713 no. 32.
Nikitenko, Aleksandr. Up From Serfdom. My Childhood and Youth in Russia, 1804-1824. Trans. Helen Saltz Jacobson. New Haven, 2001.
Nikitenko, Aleksandr. The diary of a Russian censor. Abr., ed., trans. Helen Saltz Jacobson. Amherst, 1975.
Purlevskii, Savva Dmitrievich. A Life under Russian Serfdom. The Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 1800-68. Ed., trans. Boris B. Gorshkov. NY/Budapest: Central European University Press, 2005. HT807.P87 2005
Rostislavov, Dmitrii Ivanovich. Provincial Russia in the Age of Enlightenment: The Memoir of a Priest’s Son. Trans., ed. Alexander M. Martin. DeKalb, 2002.
Serge, Victor. Memoirs of a Revolutionary, 1901-1941. London, 1963.
Sorokin, Pitirim. Leaves From a Russian Diary. NY, 1924.
Vodovozova, Elizaveta. A Russian Childhood. Trans. Anthony Brode and Olga Lane. London, 1961.
Wengeroff, Pauline. Rememberings: The World of a Russian-Jewish Woman in the Nineteenth Century. Trans. Henny Wenkart, ed. Bernard D. Cooperman. Potomac, 2000.
Witte, Sergei Iul’evich. The Memoirs of Count Witte. Tr., ed. Abraham Yarmolinsky. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1921.
_____. The memoirs of Count Witte. Tr., ed. Sidney Harcave. Armonk, NY, 1990.
Wrangel (Vrangel), Petr Nikolaevich. The Memoirs of General Wrangel, The Last Commander-in-Chief of the Russian National Army. Trans. Sophie Goulston. NY: Duffield and Co., 1930. idem, Always with Honor; Memoirs of General Wrangel. NY, 1957.
Youssoupoff, Prince Felix. Lost Splendor: The Amazing Memoirs of the Man Who Killed Rasputin. Tr. Ann Green and Nicholas Katkoff. NY, 1954.
The Stalin Circle
Allilueva, Svetlana. Twenty Letters to a Friend. Trans. Priscilla Johnson McMillan. NY, 1967.
Allilueva, Svetlana. Only One Year. Trans. Paul Chavchavadze. NY, 1969.
Berezhkov, Valentin. At Stalin’s Side: His Interpreter’s Memoirs from the October Revolution to the Fall of the Dictator’s Empire. Trans. Sergei M. Mikheyev. Secaucus, NJ, 1994.
Bukharin, Nikolai. How It All Began. Trans. George Shriver. NY, 1998. An autobiographical novel that bears comparison with Anna Larina’s This I Cannot Forget.
Chuev, Feliks Ivanovich. Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics; Conversations with Felix Chuev. Chicago, 1993.
Larina, Anna. This I Cannot Forget: The Memoirs of Nikolai Bukharin’s Widow. Trans. Gary Kern. NY, 1993.
Mikoyan, Anastas. The Memoirs of Anastas Mikoyan. Trans. Katherine T. O’Connor and Diana L. Burgin. Madison, CT, 1988.
Berg, Raisa. Acquired Traits: Memoirs of a Geneticist from the Soviet Union. Trans. David Lowe. NY, 1988.
Bryusov, Valery. The diary of Valery Bryusov (1893-1905) with reminiscences by V. F. Khodasevich and Marina Tsvetaeva. Ed., tr. Joan Delaney Grossman. Berkeley, 1980. PG3453.B7 Z524 1980.
Chukovskaya, Lydia. The Akhmatova Journals, vol. 1: 1938-41. NY, 1994.
Chukovskii, Kornei. The Silver Crest: My Russian Boyhood. Tr. Beatrice Stillman. NY, 1976.
Chukovsky, Kornei. Diary, 1901-1969. Ed. Victor Erlich, tr. Michael Henry Heim. New Haven, 2005.
Eisenstein, S. M. Beyond the Stars: The Memoirs of Sergei Eisenstein. vol. 4 of Eisenstein, Selected Works, 4 vols. London: BFI Publishing, 1988-95. PN1998.3.E34 A25 1988
Gorky, Maxim. Childhood. Trans. Margaret Wettlin. Moscow, 1954. ibid., NY, 1916. ibid., trans. Ronald Wilks. NY, 1966. idem, In the World. Trans. Mrs. Gertrude M. Foakes. NY, 1917. idem, My Apprenticeship; My Universities. Trans. Margaret Wettlin. Moscow, 1973. idem, My University Days. NY, 1923.
Ioffe, Nadezhda. Back in Time: My Life, My Fate, My Epoch. Oak Park, MI, 1995.
Leontief, Estelle. Genia & Wassily: A Russian-American Memoir. Somerville, MA, 1987.
Likhachev, Dmitrii Sergeevich. Reflections on the Russian Soul: A Memoir. Budapest, 2000.
Marshak, Samuil. At Life’s Beginning: Some Pages of Reminiscence. Tr. Katherine Hunter Blair. NY, 1964.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Conclusive Evidence, a Memoir. NY, 1951.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Speak, Memory. An Autobiography Revisited. NY, 1967.
Pasternak, Boris. “People and Situations: An Autobiographical Essay,” in Novyi mir: A Selection 1925-1967. Ed., tr. Michael Glenny. London, 1972, 359-415. PG3213.G55
Paustovsky, Konstantin. Distant Years. London, 1959.
Paustovsky, Konstantin. Story of a Life. 4 vols. 2: Slow approach of thunder. 3: In that dawn. 4: Years of Hope. Tr. Manya Harari and Michael Duncan. London, 1965.
Paustovsky, Konstantin. Southern Adventure. v. 5 of Story of a Life. Tr. Kyril FitzLyon. London, 1969.
Paustovsky, Konstantin. Story of a Life. 2 vols. 1: Story of a life. 2: Years of Hope. Tr. Joseph Barnes. NY, 1964.
Plisetskaia, Maiia. I, Maya Plisetskaya. Trans. Antonina W. Bouis. New Haven, 2001.
Posner (Pozner), Vladimir. Parting with Illusions. NY, 1990.
Prokofiev, Sergei. Prokofiev by Prokofiev: a composer’s memoir. Ed. David H. Appel, tr. Guy Daniels. Garden City, NY/London, 1979.
_____. Soviet diary 1927 and other writings. Tr., ed. Oleg Prokofiev. Boston, 1991.
Rostropovich, Mstislav and Galina Vishnevskaia. Russia, music, and liberty. Conversations with Claude Samuel. Trans. E. Thomas Glasow. Portland: Amadeus Press, 1995.
Sagdeev, Roald Z. The Making of a Soviet Scientist: My Adventures in Nuclear Fusion and Space from Stalin to Star Wars. NY, 1994.
Stravinsky, Vera. Dearest Bubushkin: The Correspondence of Vera and Igor Stravinsky, 1921-1954, with Excerpts from Vera Stravinsky’s Diaries, 1922-1971. Ed. Robert Craft, trans. Lucia Davidora. NY, 1985.
Stravinsky, Igor. An Autobiography. NY, 1936.
Stravinsky, Igor. Conversations with Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft. Garden City, 1959.
Stravinsky, Igor. Dialogues and a Diary [by] Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft. Garden City, 1963.
Stravinsky, Igor. Memories and Commentaries [by] Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft. Garden City, 1960.
Tsevetaeva, Marina. Earthly signs: Moscow diaries, 1917-1922. Ed., tr. Jamey Gambrell. New Haven, 2002. PG3476.T75 A24 2002
Vishnevskaia, Galina. Galina: A Russian story. Trans. Guy Daniels. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich. A Precocious Autobiography. Trans. Andrew R. MacAndrew. NY, 1963.
Post-Stalin Political Elites
Arbatov, Georgi. The System: An Insider’s Life in Soviet Politics. NY, 1992.
Brezhnev, Leonid. Leonid I. Brezhnev: Pages from His Life. NY, 1978.
Brezhneva, Luba. The World I Left Behind: Pieces of a Past. NY, 1994.
Dobrynin, Anatoly. In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents (1962-1986). NY, 1995.
Gorbacheva, Raisa Maksimovna. I Hope. Trans. David Floyd. NY, 1991.
Gromyko, Andrei. Memoirs: Andrei Gromyko. Trans. Harold Shukman. NY, 1990.
Ligachev, Egor. Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin: The Memoirs of Yegor Ligachev. Trans. Catherine A. Fitzpatrick, Michele A. Berdy and Dobrochna Dyrcz-Freeman. NY, 1993.
Yeltsin, Boris Nikolaevich. Midnight Diaries. NY, 2000.
Yeltsin, Boris Nikolaevich. Against the Grain. Trans. Michael Glenny. London, 1990.
Zhukov, Georgii. The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov. NY, 1971.
Dissidents, Political Prisoners
Bonner, Elena. Mothers and Daughters. NY, 1992.
Bonner, Elena. Alone Together. NY, 1986.
Bukovsky, Vladimir. To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter. Trans. Michael Scammell. NY, 1979.
Ginzburg, Eugenia. Within the Whirlwind. Tr. Ian Boland. NY, 1982.
Grigorenko, Petr. Memoirs. Petro G. Grigorenko. Trans. Thomas P. Whitney. NY, 1982.
Iakir, Petr. A Childhood in Prison [by] Pyotr Yakir. Ed. Robert Conquest. NY, 1973.
Kopelev, Lev. To Be Preserved Forever. Trans. Anthony Austin. Philadelphia, 1977.
Kopelev, Lev. The Education of a True Believer. Trans. Gary Kern. NY, 1980.
Kopelev, Lev. Ease My Sorrows: A Memoir. Trans. Antonina W. Bouis. NY, 1983.
Marchenko, Anatoly. My Testimony. Trans. Michael Scammell. London, 1969.
Ratushinskaya, Irina. In the Beginning. Trans. Alyona Kojevnikov. NY, 1991.
Ratushinskaya, Irina. Grey is the Color of Hope. Trans. Alyona Kojevnikov. NY, 1988.
Sakharov, Andrei. Memoirs. Trans. Richard Lourie. NY, 1990.
Sakharov, Andrei. Moscow and Beyond: 1986-1989. Trans. Antonina Bouis. NY, 1991.
Tertz, Abram (Siniavskii, Andrei). A Voice From the Chorus. Trans. Kiril Fitzlyon and Max Hayward. New Haven, 1995.
Collections of Memoir Extracts
Bonnell, Victoria E., ed. The Russian Worker: Life and Labor Under the Tsarist Regime. Berkeley, 1983. Includes a portion of Kanatchikov’s autobiography, listed above, as well as memoir extracts from several other workers in pre-revolutionary Russia.
Clyman, Toby W., and Judith Vowles, eds. Russia Through Women’s Eyes: Autobiographies from Tsarist Russia. New Haven, 1996.
Cottam, K. Jean, ed., trans. In the Sky Above the Front: A Collection of Memoirs of Soviet Air Women Participants in the Great Patriotic War. Manhattan, KS, 1984.
Cottam, K. Jean, ed., trans. On the Road to Stalingrad: Memoirs of a Soviet Woman Machine Gunner. Ottawa, 1996.
Engel, Barbara Alpern, and Clifford N. Rosenthal., eds., trans. Five Sisters: Women Against the Tsar. NY, 1975.
Fitzpatrick, Sheila, and Yuri Slezkine, eds. In the Shadow of Revolution: Life Stories of Russian Women from 1917 to the Second World War. Trans. Yuri Slezkine. Princeton, 2000.
Garros, Veronique, et al., eds. Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s. NY, 1995.
Horsbrugh-Porter, Anna, ed. Memories of Revolution: Russian Women Remember. London, 1993.
Kelly, Catriona, ed. An Anthology of Russian Women’s Writing, 1777-1992. Oxford, 1994. Includes some autobiographical writing, but fiction and poetry occupy the bulk of the text.
Ledkovsky, Marina, ed. Russia According to Women: Literary Anthology. Tenafly, NJ, 1991. Includes some autobiography, but mainly devoted to fiction and poetry.
Noggle, Anne. A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II. College Station, TX, 1994.
Shapovalov, Veronica, ed., tr. Remembering the Darkness: Women in Soviet Prisons. Lanham, MD, 2001.
Simmons, Cynthia, and Nina Perlina. Writing the siege of Leningrad: women’s diaries, memoirs, and documentary prose. Pittsburgh, 2002. D764.3.L4 S56 2002.
Tomei, Christine D., ed. Russian Women Writers. 2 vols. NY, 1999. Includes extracts from Vera Figner, Lidiia Ginzburg, Avdot’ia Panaeva, and Anastasiia Verbitskaia.
Vilensky, Simeon, ed. Till My Tale is Told: Women’s Memoirs of the Gulag. Trans. John Crowfoot et al. Bloomington, 1999. Includes, among others, an account of a woman (Olga Adamova-Sliozberg) who rode with Eugenia Ginzburg in a railroad prison transport to the Soviet Far East, permitting some comparison of narratives.