Vladimir Mayakovsky and Other Poems
Vladimir Mayakovsky and Other Poems

Vladimir Mayakovsky and Other Poems

POETRY

256 Pages, 5.25 x 8.5

Formats: Paperback

Paperback, $18.95 (US $18.95) (CA $25.00)

Publication Date: November 2016

ISBN 9781784102920

Price: $18.95
 
 

Overview

This book is the only single-volume anthology in English that fully represents the scope of Mayakovsky's artistic work. As well as mapping out the development of his life as a poet, from the surrealism of his early pre-Revolutionary work to the more doctrinaire, more 'useful' poetry he wrote from his position as the pre-eminent Soviet poet of the 1920s, it includes other writings—play-scripts, film scenarios, advertising slogans—to give a full description of just how important a figure Mayakovsky was, not just for Soviet poetry, but for the worldwide culture of Modernism as well. It includes new translations of his major lyrics, as well as versions of several poems that have never been translated into English before. The predominant image presented in earlier translations and anthologies, of Mayakovsky as a hectoring, ranting poet, is replaced by a more nuanced figure, a writer whose apparent egotism is rather a means of dealing with a hostile world by fitting himself to its size.

Author Biography

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (July 19 1893 - 14 April 1930) was a Russian Soviet poet, playwright, artist and stage and film actor. During his early, pre-Revolution period leading into 1917, Mayakovsky became renowned as a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement; being among the signers of the Futurist manifesto, A Slap in the Face of Public Taste (1913), and authoring poems such as A Cloud in Trousers (1915) and Backbone Flute (1916). Mayakovsky produced a large and diverse body of work during the course of his career: he wrote poems, wrote and directed plays, appeared in films, edited the art journal LEF, and created agitprop posters in support of the Communist Party during the Russian Civil War. Though Mayakovsky's work regularly demonstrated ideological and patriotic support for the ideology of the Communist Party and a strong admiration of Lenin, Mayakovsky's relationship with the Soviet state was always complex and often tumultuous. Mayakovsky often found himself engaged in confrontation with the increasing involvement of the Soviet State in cultural censorship and the development of the State doctrine of Socialist realism. Works that contained criticism or satire of aspects of the Soviet system, such as the poem "Talking With the Taxman About Poetry" (1926), and the plays The Bedbug (1929) and The Bathhouse (1929), were met with scorn by the Soviet state and literary establishment.In 1930 Mayakovsky committed suicide. Even after death his relationship with the Soviet state remained unsteady. Though Mayakovsky had previously been harshly criticized by Stalinist governmental bodies like RAPP, Joseph Stalin posthumously declared Mayakovsky "the best and the most talented poet of our Soviet epoch. James Womack was born in Cambridge in 1979. He studied Russian, English and translation in St. Petersburg, Reykjavík and Oxford. He currently lives in Madrid, where he teaches at the Universidad Complutense and is co-editor of the publishing house Nevsky Prospects, which produces Spanish translations of Russian literature. Amongst others, he has translated works by Alexander Pushkin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Boris Savinkov and Silvina Ocampo. A selection of his poems appeared in New Poetries V: An Anthology (Carcanet, 2011).
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