Document Type

Honors Project (Campus Only)


This study is based upon data mined from Twitter to find the most frequently tweeted poems of Anna Akhmatova. Through the 45,000 collected tweets, this work attempts to understand Akhmatova’s canon in a new way. Anna Akhmatova is known as one of Russia’s greatest poets, but although her literary canon is extensive, there exists a disjunction between the works studied in the academic canon and the works enjoyed by contemporary readers. Such readers tend to focus upon her earlier love poems, whereas critics, especially those writing after her death, focus upon her later political poems, but this project puts forth an analysis of her work from both periods, based upon how Russophone readers receive and understand it. Using Akhmatova’s “The Reader” from her poem “Tricks of the Trade” as an entry into the use of reader reception theory in understanding Akhmatova’s work, this project proposes a new method to augment our understanding of the Akhmatova canon. Furthermore, this approach enables the study of Akhmatova’s work as a cohesive unit by providing insight into the overarching characteristics that attracted readers to both her early and later poetry.



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