Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/3/19
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—Wall Street Journal "The sort of reading experience one might expect from a novel of foreign intrigue."
—SF Examiner "Morrison energetically and compellingly traces Lina’s life from her childhood in Europe through her young adulthood in New York to her tempestuous marriage to the famed composer Serge Prokofiev, her time in the gulag, and her final years in the U.S...Morrison's powerful portrait reveals a haunting story of one woman’s tragedy and one man’s flaws."
—Publishers Weekly"An authority on the life and works of Serge Prokofiev charts the sad biographical arc of his wife, Lina, who spent some devastating years in the Soviet gulag. Morrison, who had access to the family and significant archival collections, has produced a gripping story of a young woman’s rise into the highest social and musical circles, her marriage to Prokofiev (whose principal affection was for his music, not his family), and their globe-trotting tours and swelling celebrity...Research, compassion and outrage combine in a story both riveting and wrenching."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Simon Morrison has written a brilliant and riveting tale of love, intrigue, terror, and betrayal that forces us to confront the paradox of how great art can be made by unspeakably cruel and heartless individuals."
—Leon Botstein, music director and conductor, American Symphony Orchestra, and president of Bard College
"I knew my mother-in-law in the last fifteen years of her life and understood her as a person whose relationship with Prokofiev was the driving force of her life. She was someone who was unwilling to revisit the painful aspects of her past and yet longed for her story to be heard. This well-written and impeccably researched book is an authoritative and sensitive account of an extraordinary relationship."
"In the hagiographic hall of fame that is the Russian artist's wife — Sophia Tolstoy, Anna Dostoevsky, Nadezhda Mandelstam, all muses who stood watch while their men created things of genius, and then who jealously guarded the legacy — Lina Prokofiev is odd woman out. Her story almost cannot be believed, until Simon Morrison gained access to the documents (and the trust of the family) in order to tell it. Biography does not get more important than this."
—Caryl Emerson, author of Mikhail Bakhtin and The Life of Musorgsky
"An engrossing tale, beautifully told on the basis of new material that illuminates Prokofiev's life as well as Lina's. An attractive young cosmopolitan singer lands her man, the famous composer, and ends up with him in Moscow — and then alone in the gulag. Simon Morrison has given us her story, including the parts that were too painful for her to remember."
—Sheila Fitzpatrick, professor emerita of Soviet history, University of Chicago
Simon Morrison is a professor of music at Princeton University, a contributor to the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement, and the author of, most recently, Lina and Serge. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.商品の説明をすべて表示する
One point that I disagree with is that when Lina and Serge Prokofiev separated his music did not suffer from the lack of a muse. The Fifth and Sixth symphonies, Cinderella and War and Peace are post-Lina and rank among his greatest musical expressions. Lina, for me, comes off as a talented singer but lacked the drive to make the effort to become a great singer. Her many illnesses prior to a concert struck me as being psychosomatic. She enjoyed a pampered lifestyle as Prokofiev’s life but certainly had much to put up with from a self-centered genius.
The story of Lina’s life demands to be told, and Mr. Morrison does so with empathy for his subject but without excessive sympathy. The writing is excellent, although there were times when he would get a bit ahead of events he was relating only to go back to where he was before the digression. I do hope that a film might be made of Lina’s life. I remember seeing a photograph of her smiling with Prokofiev in a book years ago and wondering whatever happened to her. So now, years later, I have my answer.
The opening of the book reads like romantic historical fiction. Serge Prokofiev is an aloof genius, a master performer and composer; Carolina Codina-"baffling, compelling, disdainful, exasperating, flirtatious, humorous, stubborn and high-spirited"-admires his musical ability from the beginning. Carolina ("Lina") never should have gone anywhere near Prokofiev, both on the face of things and in retrospect. Their marriage is ill-fated, their move to Russia disastrous, but even before that he was remote, arrogant, disdainful of commitment. "His lack of basic human feeling could be shocking." As a lover he was rude and unfaithful, and enjoyed emotional chess as much as he did the more conventional kind. By the birth of his first son, the reader is nearly numb to Prokofiev's indifference, until an accident throws the three of them from a car. The addled composer frets, but for the lost manuscripts, not his injured family.
A reversal of the Quixotic journey takes the Prokofievs to Stalin-era Russia, where they expect windmills but find giants. The intrigue of 1936-1948 makes for quick, anxious reading. Compositions are banned, citizens vanish, phone calls are monitored. (Neither does this amount to the paranoia of a musical savant and his cosmopolitan bride. Morrison recounts an instance of an operator disconnecting a call and then stating flatly: "You were perfectly audible, I just decided to cut you off.") The Joseph Stalin of Lina and Serge is both amateur clerk and veteran enforcer. Morrison notes that naive economic ideology dries the Soviet Union of goods, but not money, yet when Stalin briefly catches Lina's glimpse at the Moscow Conservatoire, "His look was so piercing that she flinched." Eight years later, she will realize during her final appeal that her prisoner file contains only her sentencing record. History's quintessential bureaucrats? Not so much.
The wartime bread lines return, and the dazzling, exotic Lina is reduced to single motherhood and ration cards.
The final quarter of the book detail Lina's investigation, sentencing (all fifteen minutes of it) and detainment. This is not the definitive book on the Soviet gulag (Anne Applebaum's account goes into far more detail), because as mentioned, the state's silence and Lina's own reluctance to speak of her eight lost years necessarily leave huge potholes in Morrison's narrative. By all means there are some heartbreaking passages to be had: Lina is feverish on the day she is processed, but nevertheless forced into a cold shower with anti-lice shampoo. Next she is beaten and deprived of sleep, and later tossed onto an icy floor. She wears used underwear and employs fishbones as needles. Her estranged husband and mother both die during her imprisonment.
It is telling that, of her two most serious crimes-allegedly passing a letter to a foreign diplomat and actively attempting to leave the Soviet Union-the latter was considered more treasonous.
In time the madness lifts. Lina is freed in 1956 and leaves the Soviet Union in 1974, largely putting the experience behind her over the next fifteen years. But she is reluctant to tell her story and, in her dying moments, believes the hospital staff to be "guards and wardens in disguise." By this measure, "she never escaped the Soviet Union." Simon Morrison has written a painful, if sometimes incomplete tribute.