I don’t know much about the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, except that I read somewhere that he gave his wife Nadezhda a pacifier and persuaded her to wear it around her neck on a string of pearls so that he could stick the pacifier in her mouth whenever she interrupted him, which apparently she did rather often. That factoid isn’t much in itself, but it was intriguing enough to inspire me to read Professor Alexis Klimoff’s article on Mandelstam in translation in the February issue of First Things (not online; you’ll have to subscribe). If any of you skipped that article because you hadn’t heard of Mandelstam, I urge you to reconsider.

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