Stephanie Sandler

Ernest E. Monrad Professor, Slavic Languages & Literatures

Elena Guro
Osenniĭ son
Saint Petersburg, 1912

Elena Guro published this slim volume in 1912, with her own delicate illustrations and an authorial inscription on the flyleaf giving herself a doubled name, Elena Guro and Eleonora von Notenberg. The dedication is to the “unforgettable memory” of her one and only son, V. V. Notenberg. Guro had no son, nor is von Notenberg her name, but Autumn Dream left readers thinking otherwise for decades. The simple, understated beauty of the book, with its rippled pages and lovely format, helped along the mystification, as did the appealingly romantic character Guro invented for the “lost” son. I have found Guro fascinating since I first studied Russian literature, and this rare book perfectly represents her mysterious charm and her brilliant acts of self-creation.

8 L x 5.25 W x 0.25 Th (in)
RC9.G9663.912o. Bayard L. Kilgour, Jr. Slavic Fund, 1966

Stephanie Sandler speaks about Elena Guro and Autumn Dream