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The late author of The Maid of Pskov

February 26, 2011
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On the way to reading about the Petersburg fires in the next month’s issue, I stumbled on Lev Mei’s obituary in Library for Reading, May 1862:

Obituary of L. A. Mei. On May 15th in St. Petersburg the well-known poet L. A. Mei passed away from paralysis of the lungs. Certain poems by the deceased, marked by fine qualities, gave reason to hope he would be a remarkable talent. The play The Maid of Pskov [Pskovitianka] strengthened these hopes still more, but in recent years, unfortunately, L. A. Mei’s severe illness almost completely deprived Russian literature of his participation. The late poet knew a remarkable amount about Russian antiquity and classical literatures. Those who knew him remember him as a pure man. At present L. A. Mei’s complete collected works are being published by Count Kushelev-Bezborodko, and after their publication we hope to offer a detailed opinion about the talent of the deceased. — Let us observe here that nearly all poets writing now do not belong to our younger generation, which has not yet put forward any potential successors to them. — This circumstance intensifies still more our regret over the loss of one of the most notable modern poets, who died at an age that did not preclude hope for the further development of his talent.

A newer and longer description of Mei by Bukhmeier is here, with more links here.

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