Books: In the Siberia of the Heart

I LOVE: THE STORY OF VLADIMIR MAYAKOVSKY AND LILI BRIK by Ann and Samuel Charters; Farrar, Straus, & Giroux; 398 pages; $17.50

Few modern poets have got so worked up over their women as Louis Aragon and Vladimir Mayakovsky. For nearly 40 years the poet laureate of the French Communist Party rhapsodized in verse over Les Yeux d'Elsa and other cherished features of his wife Elsa Triolet. Mayakovsky, the bard of the Bolshevik Revolution, was no less attentive to his mistress Lili Brik, though his poems were scarcely as complimentary as Aragon's. Lili was...

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