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Ratushinskaya Irina. Beyond the Limit / Вне лимита

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Ratushinskaya Irina. Beyond the Limit / Вне лимита
Transl. by Frances Padorr Brent and Carol J. Avins. — Bilingual ed.— Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1987. — 121 p. — ISBN-10: 0810107481; ISBN-13: 978-0810107489
Beyond the Limit is a cycle of forty-seven poems written during the first portion of Irina Ratushinskaya’s term in the “strict regime” camp for women political prisoners at Barashevo in Mordovia. The poems bear witness to the disequilibrium of history while they record a resilient interior life. On 5 March 1983, Irina Ratushinskaya was sentenced to seven years of hard labor to be followed by five years of internal exile for “agitation carried on for the purpose of subverting the Soviet regime.” Ratushinskaya was twenty-nine years old. During the years in the camp, despite deteriorating health, hunger strikes, and continual punishments in cold isolation, Ratushinskaya composed poems filled with intelligence, wit, and a longing for better times: “Heat will die down, the road will cool, but on the fields we’ve left/sluggish bees still thrum...” Her work has been compared with that of Marina Tsvetaeva and Anna Akhmatova. On 9 October 1986, the eve of the Reykjavik summit, she was released from a Kiev prison. [Brent and Avins] retain her fresh and idiomatic voice. They communicate her lyric attachment for those subtle but pervasive divine symbols and domestic rituals that may be evident even in the lowest depths of nature and man’s inhumanity to man. They show that sprightly effervescence that glows throughout her verse.
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