August 11th People

August 11th

08-11-1885 – 08-26-1933 Sophia Parnok – Born in Taganrog, Russian Empire. She was a Russian poet and translator, sister of poet Valentin Parnakh, and children’s author Yelizaveta Tarakhovskaya. Sophia ParnokShe was called the “Russia’s Sappho” after a relationship with fellow Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. At the beginning of WWI, she met the young poet Marina Tsvetaeva, with whom she had a love affair that left important imprints on the poetry of both women. The lyrics in Parnok’s poems presented the first, non-decadent, lesbian-desiring subject ever to be heard in a book of Russian poetry. Soviet censorship decided that Parnok’s poetic voice was “unlawful”, and she was unable to publish after 1928. She made her living translating poems by Charles Baudelaire, novels by Romain Rolland, Marcel Proust, Henri Barbusse and others.

 

08-11-1913 – 05-31-1991 Sir Angus Johnstone-Wilson, CBE – Born in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England. He was an English novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the 1958 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Middle Age of Mrs. Eliot and later received a Sir Angus Johnstone-Wilsonknighthood for his services to literature. During WWII, he worked in the Naval section at the code-breaking establishment, Bletchley Park, translating Italian Naval codes. A wearer of large, brightly coloured bow-ties, he was one of the “famous homosexuals” at Bletchley. After the War, he returned to his job as a librarian in the British Museum’s Department of Printed Books. It was there that he met Tony Garrett (born in 1929), who was to be his companion for the rest of his life.

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