Osip Mandelstam is a favourite poet whose prose I only recently discovered.  His Journey to Armenia is a marvelous, textured complement to Vasily Grossman’s An Armenian Sketchbook. This quotation captures for me the hypnotic and curative effects a sight of the sea can bring, and echoes the joy of the ancient Greeks when they finally reached it and cried, “The sea, the sea”.

Both books will be reviewed shortly.

‘And here I stretched my vision and sank my eye into the wide goblet of the sea, so that every mote and tear should come out of it.’

Source:  Osip Mandelstam, Journey to Armenia, trans. Sidney Monas (London: Notting Hill Editions, 2011), p. 76


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