One of the many reasons why the very gallant Russian poet Gumilev was put to death by Lenin’s ruffians thirty odd years ago was that during the whole ordeal, in the prosecutor’s dim office, in the torture house, in the winding corridors that led to the truck, in the truck that took him to the place of execution, and at that place itself, full of shuffling feet of the clumsy and gloomy shooting squad, t h e p o e t k e p t s m i l i n g - Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature
Despite the hard experiences of real travels and battles, he remained, to the end of his life, a schoolboy entranced by the Iliad of childhood – the adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He never outgrew the influence of Mayne Reid, Alexandre Dumas, père, Jules Verne, Gustave Aimard and others- “Gumilyov’s Magic Wand” – Mikhail Sinelnikov. Moscow News, CULTURE; No. 15. April 18, 1996.
|I AM joy before death. Joy before death carries me. Joy before death hurls me down. Joy before death annihilates me. - Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess|