Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Mikhail Kuzmin

Mikhail Kuzmin

A Life in Art

John E. Malmstad, Nikolay Bogomolov

ISBN 9780674530874

Publication date: 04/30/1999

Mikhail Kuzmin (1872–1936), Russia’s first openly gay writer, stood at the epicenter of the turbulent cultural and social life of Petersburg-Petrograd-Leningrad for over three decades. A poet of the caliber of Aleksandr Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelshtam, and Marina Tsvetaeva (and acknowledged as such by them and other contemporaries), Kuzmin was also a prose writer, playwright, critic, translator, and composer who was associated with every aspect of modernism’s history in Russia, from Symbolism to the Leningrad avant-gardes of the 1920s.

Only now is Kuzmin beginning to emerge from the “official obscurity” imposed by the Soviet regime to assume his place as one of Russia’s greatest poets and one of this century’s most characteristic and colorful creative figures. This biography, the first in any language to be based on full and uncensored access to the writer’s private papers, including his notorious Diary, places Kuzmin in the context of his society and times and contributes to our discovery and appreciation of a fascinating period and of Russia’s long suppressed gay history.


  • The work of Malmstad and Bogomolov is a monumental enterprise, a thorough and highly informative study that opens an entirely new perspective on the so-called Silver Age of Russian literature.

    —Tomas Venclova, New Republic


  • John E. Malmstad is Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University.
  • Nikolay Bogomolov is Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Moscow.

Book Details

  • 496 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author