Cover Osteuropa 8-10/2008

In Osteuropa 8-10/2008

Two Souls in My Chest
Dual Cultural Identity: Mandel’shtam, Pasternak, and Brodsky

Ulrich Schmid

Deutsche Fassung


The lyrical work of Osip Mandel’shtam, Boris Pasternak, and Joseph Brodsky belongs to the inner sanctum of 20th century Russian litera-ture. All three poets had a Jewish background which they suppressed to different extents. Their difficult relationship to Jewry, however, was a driving force behind their artistic work: The poetry and the autobiographical self-mythologizing of the three poets was aimed not least at a cultural transformation that was to lead Jewry – which was in their view stagnant – to a most vaguely understood Christian world culture.

(Osteuropa 8-10/2008, pp. 341–352)