Teffi, Nadezhda (real name — Lokhvitskaya, Nadezhda Aleksandrovna; 1872 — 1952).

Nadezhda was born into a distinguished family that treasured literature; both her older and her two younger sisters were published writers. She herself wrote poetry, prose and drama, first using the pseudonym 'Teffi'* soon after the beginning of her career in the early 1900s. After the Revolution, she settled in Paris. There she played a prominent role in literary life, organizing a salon and, with remarkable regularity, contributing weekly columns and stories to leading periodicals for the next 20 years.

As well as being admired by writers of the stature of Bunin, Bulgakov and Zoshchenko, Teffi was hugely popular throughout her life. In pre-Revolutionary Russia, candies and perfumes were named after her; after the Revolution, her stories were published and her plays performed throughout the Russian diaspora. For forty years after her death, however, she was almost forgotten. This was probably for several reasons: because she was a woman; because she was considered 'lightweight' (critics noticed her humour more than her psychological acuity); because she wrote over 500 stories and not all are of equal quality; and because of a lack of serious attention — on the part of both Western Slavists and the Soviet establishment — to йmigrй literature in general.


* Often thought to be derived from the English 'Taffy', though she herself, in her story 'Pseudonym', says it comes from 'Steffi', a familiar form of 'Stepan', the name of a Russian friend.

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