A PRECOCIOUS AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

A PRECOCIOUS AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yevtushenko is thirty; he has been called the ""spokesman of a new generation"" since the ""thaw"" (a tag he considers inappropriate); a collection of his selected poems appeared here last fall (p. 934); and he is attracting considerable attention all over the world. This fragmentary autobiography which is an amplifying addendum to his poetry, for after all ""a poet's autobiography is his poetry"", is both a manifesto and credo of his ideas and ideals, along with snatches of his experience: the last memory of his grandfather; his parents- an intellectual father- peasant mother; the end of his schooling (he walked out) at 15 and work as a laborer on two geological expeditions; etc. There are judgments of other writers, a nice sketch of asternak, but the heart of his small book is in his articulation of the poet's mission: he would like to be the ""Till Eulenspiegel of the atomic age"" calling upon en to fight for justice- and he equates the word poet with fighter. At Stalin's death, he realized that his poetry could no longer indulge privacy but that it must Louch ""the inherent spiritual strength of the Russian people who were slowly beginning to recover their freedom"". Yevtushenko writes with a stripped simplicity, candor and fervor, and a resurgent faith in his people and in his own manifest destiny.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton