“Ten Pushkins for a Car”

From “The Poet of Passions” by Irma Kudrova about the 20th century Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, published in Russian Life, Sept./Oct. 2007:

[T]rying circumstances only seemed to fuel c’s poetic talent. Her poetry in the 1920s and 1930s donned a tragic tone. It is the voice of a person suffocating in contemporary civilization; in her mind, people had morphed into “alcoholics of distance,” (alkogolikov verst) “capturers of minutes,” and “swallowers of empty spaces.” “Life is a space where one cannot live,” she wrote in “Poem of the Mountain.” In one of her letters, she exclaimed: “Our century would trade in ten Pushkins for a car.”