Brodsky, Joseph (Vol. 100)
Joseph Brodsky 1940–1996
(Full name Joseph Alexandrovich Brodsky; also transliterated as Iosif, Josif, Yosif, or Josip; also Alexander or Aleksandrovich; also Brodski, Brodskii, or Brodskij)
Russian-born American poet, essayist, and translator.
The following entry provides an overview of Brodsky's career through 1996. For further information on his life and works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 6, 13, 36, and 50.
Often called the best Russian poet of his generation, Brodsky was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and became an American citizen in 1977. He was known for poetry in which he used complex rhythm and meter and extensive word play to address such themes as exile, loss, and death. He also frequently incorporated classical Western mythology and philosophy as well as Judeo-Christiantheology into his works. Brodsky is best known for his poetry collections originally written in Russian, Chast' rechi (1977; A Part of Speech) and Uraniia (1984; To Urania), and his essay collections written in English, Less Than One (1986) and On Grief and Reason (1995). In 1987, Brodsky was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy, the bestowing body of the award, cited Brodsky's "all-embracing authorship imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity" and described his writing as "rich and intensely vital." Brodsky was also appointed poet laureate of the United States in 1991. During his one-year tenure, he extolled American poetry, calling it "this country's greatest patrimony," and worked to have it published much more widely.
Biographical InformationBrodsky was born in Leningrad to Jewish parents. Disenchanted with formal education, he left school at the age of fifteen to study independently. He taught himself English and Polish, purportedly so he could translate the works of English poet John Donne and Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz. As he developed a reputation among other Russian writers as a young poet with exceptional promise, he garnered the disfavor of Soviet authorities who arrested him in 1964 on charges of "social parasitism" under a controversial law meant to punish citizens who refused gainful employment. Although Brodsky argued that his activities as a poet and translator constituted legitimate work, the judge at the trial reacted scornfully to his defense. "Who has recognized you as a poet? Who has given you a place among the poets?" she demanded of Brodsky, to which he retorted, "No one. And who included me among the ranks of the human race?" Brodsky was sentenced to five years of hard labor on a state farm near the Arctic Circle. Due in part to a petition signed by numerous prominent persons in the Soviet Union, Europe, and North America, including the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, Brodsky was released after serving less than two years of his sentence. However, he was still regarded as an undesirable element in Soviet society, and in 1972 officials forced him to leave the country despite his protests. Befriended by American poet W. H. Auden, Brodsky settled in the United States, where he worked as an instructor of literature and creative writing at several universities, including the University of Michigan, Queens College, and Mount Holyoke College. Brodsky had open-heart surgery in 1979 and later had two heart bypass operations. He died of a heart attack in New York City on January 28, 1996 and was buried in Venice, Italy.
Brodsky's early works are mostly brief, simple lyrics written in free verse, while those written in the late 1960s and beyond exhibit his command of longer, increasingly complex poetic forms. His early poems are also considered more personal than his later works, which treat more universal subject matter. A Part of Speech contains thirty-six poems, many of which originally appeared in Russian in such volumes as Ostanovka v pustyne (1970) and Konets prekrasnoi epokhi (1977). Although many of the poems address Brodsky's life in his homeland and chronicle his feelings of loss and loneliness after leaving Russia, other works in the collection incorporate American themes and describe American landscapes. Less Than One, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986, contains eighteen essays and focuses on twentieth century poetry in Russian and English. In addition to works on such writers as Russian Fyodor Dostoevsky and West Indian poet Derek Walcott, Less Than One contains two memoirs of Brodsky's childhood in Leningrad. Brodsky's second essay collection, On Grief and Reason, is comprised of twenty-one essays, all but one of which was written after 1986. This collection contains analyses of individual poems by English writer Thomas Hardy, American poet Robert Frost, and German writer Ranier Maria Rilke as well as essays about Roman ruler Marcus Aurelius and Roman poet Horace. Brodsky also published a book-length essay, Watermark, in 1992. Focusing on his experiences in Venice, Italy, where Brodsky spent many of his winters, this work has been described as a metaphorical, witty, and unconventional treatment of the Italian city. At the time of his death, Brodsky was in the process of completing the poetry collection So Forth, which was published later in 1996.
During his life, Brodsky earned recognition from both critics and his peers as an extraordinarily gifted writer. He was lauded for imbuing classical themes with contemporary significance and for writing in both English and Russian. A few commentators have disputed the opinion that he is among the most influential Russian poets of the second half of the twentieth century, suggesting that sympathy for the oppression Brodsky suffered in the former Soviet Union led some to overrate his talents. Some critics have also faulted his poetry for what they consider its sexism, didacticism, and lack of clarity and emotional intimacy. Nevertheless, Brodsky was widely praised for his commitment to poetry, his vast knowledge of Western poetic traditions, and his mastery of numerous verse forms. Regarding Brodsky's influence on contemporary literature, Seamus Heaney observed that he was "regarded as the figure of the representative poet, sounding prophetic even though he might demur at the notion of the prophetic role, and impressing the academics by the depth of his knowledge of the poetic tradition from classical times up through the Renaissance and in modern European languages, including English." Heaney has also commented on Brodsky's belief that poetry has the power to transform individual consciousness and transcend political and social constraints: "[Brodsky had] total conviction about the trustworthiness of poetry as a force for good—not so much 'for the good of society' as for the health of the individual mind and soul." Brodsky himself emphasized his views on the role of the poet in his Nobel lecture: "The poet … is language's means for existence. I who write these lines will cease to be; so will you who read them. But the language in which they are written and in which you read them will remain, not merely because language is a more lasting thing than man, but because it is more capable of mutation."
Stikhotvoreniia i poemy (poetry) 1965
Collines et autres poemes (poetry) 1966
Ausgewahlte Gedichte (poetry) 1966
Elegy to John Donne and Other Poems (poetry) 1967
Velka elegie (poetry) 1968
Ostanovka v pustyne (poetry) 1970
Poems by Joseph Brodsky (poetry) 1972
Selected Poems, Joseph Brodsky (poetry) 1973
Modern Russian Poets on Poetry: Blok, Mandeistam, Pasternak, Mayakovsky, Gumilev, Tsvetaeva [editor with Carl Proffer] (nonfiction) 1976
Chast' rechi: Stikhotvoreniia, 1972–1976 [A Part of Speech] (poetry) 1977
Konets prekrasnoi epokhi: Stikhotvoreniia, 1964–1971 (poetry) 1977
V Anglii (poetry) 1977
Verses on the Winter Campaign 1980 (poetry) 1981
Rimskie elegii (poetry) 1982
Novye stansy k Avguste: Stikhi k M. B., 1962–1982 (poetry) 1983
Mramor [Marbles: A Play in Three Acts] (drama) 1984
Uraniia: Novaia kniga stikhov [To Urania: Selected Poems, 1965–1985] (poetry) 1984
Less Than One: Selected Essays (essays) 1986
Watermark (essay) 1992
On Grief and Reason (essays) 1995
So Forth (poetry) 1996
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SOURCE: "Poet Laureate on Mission to Supermarket's Masses," in The New York Times, December 10, 1991, p. B15.
[In the following essay, De Witt discusses Brodsky's appointment to U.S. poet laureate, focusing in particular on Brodsky's belief that poetry should be published much more widely.]
Small and balding, wisps of light hair straggling across his scalp, Joseph Brodsky hunkered down on a balcony step outside the poetry office in the attic of the Library of Congress. Absent-mindedly he gazed through his cigarette's smoke and the balcony's balustrade at the Capitol where a group of gay activists were protesting.
"Look," he recently commanded a visitor, standing up and peering south at the horizon. "Too late. There was a plane, the sun shining on it like a rocket."
Mr. Brodsky is the first foreign-born poet laureate of the United States, but if one expected probings into the capital's consciousness or weighty epiphanies on the evanescence of power from him, forget it. Poets, like the rich, are different. They find the motion of light on a jet far more intriguing than political demonstrations.
"I'm not here to keep an eye on the place." said Mr. Brodsky. "But my eyes are open."
And if Mr. Brodsky's past impressions of the city are any indication, any poems that come out of a sojourn in the city will probably be discomforting....
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SOURCE: "Picture Postcards from Venice," in Book World—The Washington Post, Vol. XXII, No. 19, May 10, 1992, p. 7.
[In the following review of Watermark, Thwaite discusses Brodsky's descriptions of Venice.]
Over the years, Venice hasn't lacked its literary memorialists and scene-setters, some of them almost as familiar as Canaletto's paintings. From Ruskin to Mary McCarthy, from Byron to Ian McEwan, from both Brownings to Thomas Mann and beyond, the city has been described, analyzed, apostrophized, employed as backdrop, symbol, analogue and template. It has probably inspired more postcard-from poems than any other city in the world. Indeed, Mary McCarthy called it "a folding picture-postcard of itself."
Joseph Brodsky has already used it in his two sets of "Venetian Stanzas" (1962):
I am writing these lines sitting outdoors, in winter,
on a white iron chair, in my shirtsleeves, a little drunk;
the lips move slowly enough to hinder the vowels of the mother tongue,
and the coffee grows cold. And the blinding lagoon is lapping
at the shore as the dim human pupil's bright penalty
for its wish to arrest a landscape quite happy here without me.
—"Venetian Stanzas II," stanza VIII...
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SOURCE: "Poet Laureate Lambastes Library," in Book World—The Washington Post, Vol. XXII, No. 22, May 31, 1992, p. 15.
[In the essay below, Streitfield discusses Brodsky's term as U.S. poet laureate, focusing in particular on the poet's disgruntlement with the lack of support for the position.]
Joseph Brodsky's term as poet laureate, which officially concluded with a reading of his work to an overflow crowd of several hundred at the Library of Congress May 14, was stormier and more colorful than those of his four predecessors put together, and not coincidentally probably did more to boost the profile of this obscure post.
It wasn't raised nearly enough to satisfy Brodsky, however. In his favorite Capitol Hill cafe the morning after his final appearance, the poet waffled about whether he regretted taking the job, but made his feelings clear: "I could have happily lived without it. The job was ill-paid, ill-defined and ultimately ill-executed … I'm glad it's behind me."
In spite of the attention he has drawn to poetry since September, Brodsky had hoped and expected to do much more, and blames the library and its bureaucracy for his failure. "I experienced more hindrance than support," he said. "The library's chief interest is in sustaining things the way they are," and his tiny staff was "fairly inept."
His pet project, an anthology of American verse...
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SOURCE: "A Ramble on Joseph Brodsky," in Salmagundi, No. 97, Winter, 1993, pp. 152-68.
[In the essay below, Whedon contrasts Brodsky's poetry and essays, finding his verse obscure and emotionally distant in comparison to his essays, in which he finds "a sensitivity and introspection, a humaneness."]
I stop at a little diner outside the college where I teach and watch Joseph Brodsky lunch on a sausage sandwich and a beer. The Russian poet is convivial, and grows suddenly animated when we chat about C. P. Cavafy, the subject of Brodsky's essay, "The Pendulum's Swing." He complains of the poor English and French translations of the Greek poet. Brodsky is at work on a Russian translation of Cavafy who, like Brodsky, was most at home in an alien culture (Cavafy lived in Alexandria, Egypt all his life, writing poems that celebrate as much as they mourn his permanent exile). Like Brodsky, Cavafy was as fluent in English as he was in his mother tongue; but despite his beautifully written English, Brodsky's pronunciation is somewhat indistinct, and I have trouble following what he is saying. He appears to me headstrong, eccentric. I feel an impatience in him, a disturbing lack of focus, and I wonder about his odd, even old-fashioned stuffiness.
Brodsky quit school at the age of sixteen and seems to carry with him a sense that he isn't fully educated; he is—in the most complete sense—an...
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SOURCE: "In the Mobile Labyrinth," in The Times Literary Supplement, No. 4700, April 30, 1993, pp. 12-13.
[In the following excerpt from a comparative review of Brodsky's Watermark, Tony Tanner's Venice Desired, and Christopher Prendergast's Paris and the Nineteenth Century, Bowie praises Brodsky's unconventional depiction of Venice.]
[Joseph Brodsky's Watermark] …, which is not only an autobiographical essay but at moments a novella and a collection of epigrams, is cast as an irreverent riposte to the Venetian outpourings of the writers studied by Tony Tanner [in his Venice Desired]. How sumptuous and over-ripe Brodsky's spare notations make them all seem in their anxious quests for meaning. Even their negative epiphanies are impossibly fulsome when set against the street-corner incidents or failures of incident by which the nomadic poet measures out his Venetian winters. Speaking of his first arrival in Venice, he dissociates himself from the swollen ambitions of his predecessors: "If that night portended anything at all, it was that I'd never possess this city; but then I never had any such aspiration". Where others speak of honeymoons, or of the marriage between Venice and the sea, Brodsky thinks of Venice as a wonderful place in which to get divorced. When others mention Browning, they have in mind the author of Sordello and "A Toccata of Galuppi's", but...
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SOURCE: "From Exile to Affirmation: The Poetry of Joseph Brodsky," in Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 17, No. 2, Summer, 1993, pp. 365-83.
[In the following essay, Patterson examines the theme of exile in Brodsky's works, stating that "Brodsky regards his exile not as a political condition but as an existential condition, one that is characteristic of his condition as a human being."]
Joseph Brodsky is a poet whose concern with language is a concern for the sacred. In an interview with Nataliya Gorbanevskaya he says, "If I were to begin to create some form of theology, I think it would be a theology of language. In this sense, the word is really something sacred for me." The sacred, however, manifests itself only as something lost. The poet engages in his effort to join word and meaning not in the midst of the sacred but in a movement toward the sacred. The poet in exile thus becomes the poet of exile by undertaking this movement of return. He is the one who, in his homelessness, announces the homelessness of the human condition as it is defined by its distance from the sacred.
One understands, then, why [Valentina Polukhina asserts in her Joseph Brodsky: A Poet for Our Times, 1989] that "poetry itself is its own kind of alienation, for it is the exteriorization of one's own 'I,' the objectification of the poet's emotions and thoughts. In this...
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SOURCE: "Brodsky's Venice," in Partisan Review, Vol. LXI, No. 2, Spring, 1994, pp. 325-27.
[In the positive review of Watermark below, Weisburg discusses Brodsky's metaphorical treatment of Venice.]
Since the publication of his 1986 collection Less Than One, Joseph Brodsky has continued to develop his mastery of an idiosyncratic form that defies literary genre. Brodsky's prose pieces superficially resemble familiar or critical essays, but they lack the clarity and analytic pointedness one expects from those forms. Willfully opaque and meandering, they often leave more music and texture than the sense of an argument understood. Their structures invisible, Brodsky's nonfiction writings veer often into aphorism and apostrophe, as they mine autobiographical and philosophical veins tenuously related to the topic at hand.
So it is with Watermark, a slim volume whose intent seems not so much to propound a thesis as to complicate and deepen an intellectual relationship, creating dazzling plays of metaphor and paradox in the process. Brodsky's is a murky, beautiful, frustrating work, which draws the reader closer to his subject without attempting definitive judgements, or really any judgement about it at all. Simultaneously absorbing and elusive, it is a literary hybrid that may be best appreciated if thought of as a kind of thematic prose-poem, or a dramatic monologue,...
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SOURCE: "Joseph Brodsky, Exiled Poet Who Won Nobel, Dies at 55," in The New York Times, January 29, 1996, pp. A1, B5.
[In the obituary below, McFadden provides an overview of Brodsky's life and career.]
Joseph Brodsky, the persecuted Russian poet who settled in the United States in the early 1970's, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and became his adopted country's poet laureate, died yesterday at his apartment in Brooklyn Heights. He was 55.
The cause was believed to be a heart attack, said Roger Straus, Mr. Brodsky's friend and publisher. Mr. Brodsky had open-heart surgery in 1979 and later had two bypass operations, and had been in frail health for many years.
The poetry of Joseph Brodsky, with its haunting images of wandering and loss and the human search for freedom, was not political, and certainly not the work of an anarchist or even of an active dissident. If anything, his was a dissent of the spirit, protesting the drabness of life in the Soviet Union and its pervasive materialist dogmas.
But in a land of poets where poetry and other literature was officially subservient to the state, where verses were marshaled like so many laborers to the quarries of Socialist Realism, it was perhaps inevitable that Mr. Brodsky's work—unpublished except in underground forums, but increasingly popular—should have run afoul of the literary...
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SOURCE: "Nobel-Winning Poet Joseph Brodsky, 55, Dies," in Washington Post, January 29, 1996, p. B4.
[Below, Well discusses Brodsky's life, particularly his experiences in the former Soviet Union.]
Joseph Brodsky, 55, a poet exiled from the Soviet Union who went on to win the Nobel Prize for literature and become poet laureate of the United States, died Jan. 28 at his home in New York City.
Mr. Brodsky's longtime publisher, Roger Straus Jr., said the world-renowned poet, who had suffered for years from severe heart problems, had died of a heart attack at his apartment in Brooklyn Heights.
As much as any of his contemporaries, Mr. Brodsky seemed to typify the romantic image of the artist struggling against nature and human institutions on behalf of his poetic vision.
He grew up in a communal apartment in Leningrad. He dropped out of school at age 15, and he became one of the underground poets whose work was copied and passed from hand to hand. Brought into a Soviet Court, he defied his judge in a now-celebrated exchange and was sentenced to crush rocks near the Arctic Circle.
Exiled from the Soviet Union years later, he came to the United States and in 1977 became a U.S. citizen. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1987 and was named to serve at the Library of Congress as poet laureate in 1991. The first foreign-born person to win the...
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SOURCE: "Speaking for Language," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLIII, No. 2, February 1, 1996, pp. 28-31.
[Coeizee is a South African writer. In the mixed review of the essay collection On Grief and Reason below, he examines Brodsky's views on poetry and discusses the poet's relationship to Russian literature.]
In 1986 Joseph Brodsky published Less than One, a book of essays. Some of the essays were translated from the Russian; others he wrote directly in English, showing that his command of the language was growing to be near-native.
In two cases, writing in English had a symbolic importance to Brodsky: in a heartfelt homage to W. H. Auden, who greatly helped him after he was forced to leave Russia in 1972, and whom he regards as the greatest poet in English of the century; and in a memoir of his parents, whom he had to leave behind in Leningrad, and who, despite repeated petitions to the authorities, were never granted permission to visit him. He chose English, he says, to honor, them in a language of freedom.
Less than One is a powerful book in its own right, worthy to stand beside Brodsky's principal collections of verse: A Part of Speech (1980) and To Urania (1988). It includes magisterial essays on Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova, and Marina Tsvetaeva, the poets of the generation before Brodsky to whom he feels closest,...
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SOURCE: "On Joseph Brodsky (1940–1996)," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLIII, No. 4, February 29, 1996, pp. 7, 53.
[Tolstaya is a Russian writer. In the following tribule, she discusses Brodsky's impact on Russian writers and literature, stating "Russian literature … has lost the greatest poet of the second half of the twentieth century."]
When the last things are taken out of a house, a strange, resonant echo settles in, your voice bounces off the walls and returns to you. There's the din of loneliness, a draft of emptiness, a loss of orientation and a nauseating sense of freedom: everything's allowed and nothing matters, there's no response other than the weakly rhymed tap of your own footsteps. This is how Russian literature feels now: just four years short of millennium's end, it has lost the greatest poet of the second half of the twentieth century, and can expect no other. Joseph Brodsky has left us, and our house is empty. He left Russia itself over two decades ago, became an American citizen, loved America, wrote essays and poems in English. But Russia is a tenacious country: try as you may to break free, she will hold you to the last.
In Russia, when a person dies, the custom is to drape the mirrors in the house with black muslin—an old custom, whose meaning has been forgotten or distorted. As a child I heard that this was done so that the deceased, who is said to...
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SOURCE: "Name-Dropping the Ancients," in Nation, New York, Vol. 262, No. 6, February 12, 1996, pp. 32-4.
[In the following review of On Grief and Reason, Greenbaum faults what she considers Brodsky's obscurity, sexism, and didacticism in the volume.]
It starts innocently enough. Perusing a book of poems or essays by Joseph Brodsky you think, "A Nobel Prize winner. He must be something." Soon on, the author mentions his friendship with Anna Akhmatova. "He must be really something," you correct yourself. Throughout the next pages Brodsky confirms this, letting on—through a lyricized avalanche of name-dropping—that he is intimate with every literary tradition since Genesis. You want to follow such intelligence to its zenith! But, oddly, you feel stranded by the work. Every now and then—sweating, bushwhacking your way through thickets of allusion-laden, sexist, self-indulgent, self-congratulatoryprose—you wonder why a celebrated man of letters like Joseph Brodsky is largely unreadable.
On Grief and Reason, Brodsky's new collection of essays, is clearly the work of a ravenous, driven, history-drenchedmind. Unlike the essays of Eavan Boland …, William Hazlitt, Philip Lopate or James Baldwin, his do not wander an expanding path, courteously leading the reader into widening revelations. Rather, Brodsky buckles you in with his credentials, then takes you on a joy...
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SOURCE: "When Society Chooses to Ignore Poetry," in Los Angeles Times, February 19, 1996, p. E3.
[In the following positive review of On Grief and Reason, Harris discusses Brodsky's views on poetry.]
An enigma strikes anyone who has read Russian literature and pondered Russia's history: How could the same country give birth to so many people of outstanding humanity—and, at the same time, as if to a wholly different species, so many murderous goons?
In these 21 essays [in On Grief and Reason], Joseph Brodsky, the Nobel Prize-winning poet who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and lived in the United States until his death on Jan. 28, not only proves himself, unsurprisingly, to be one of the good guys but comes up, quite unexpectedly, with an answer.
Haven't the Russians always taken poetry more seriously than anyone else? Yes and no, Brodsky says. The "celebrated Russian intelligentsia" of the 19th and early 20th centuries did, but not the mass of the nation. "Reduced … to a crude formula, the Russian tragedy is precisely the tragedy of a society in which literature turned out to be the prerogative of the minority."
The goons, in other words, never got the message. And in that sense—in failing to absorb what literature, the most highly evolved form of human speech, could have taught them—they...
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SOURCE: "The Singer of Tales: On Joseph Brodsky," in The New York Times Book Review, March 3, 1996, p. 31.
[Heaney is an Irish poet who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. In the tribute below, he fondly remembers Brodsky's passion for language and poetry.]
Those who knew Joseph Brodsky were well aware that his heart disease was serious and that it would probably be the death of him, but because he always existed in his friends' minds not just as a person but as some kind of principle of indestructibility, it was difficult for them to admit that he was in danger. The intensity and boldness of his genius plus the sheer exhilaration of being in his company kept you from thinking about the threat to his health; he had such valor and style, and lived at such a deliberate distance from self-pity and personal complaint, you were inclined to forget that he was as mortal as the next one. So his death in January at the age of 55 was all the more shocking and distressing. Having to speak of him in the past tense feels like an affront to grammar itself.
There was a wonderfully undoubting quality about Joseph, an intellectual readiness that was almost feral. Conversation attained immediate vertical takeoff and no deceleration was possible. Which is to say that he exemplified in life the very thing that he most cherished in poetry—the capacity of language to go farther and faster...
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SOURCE: "Between Two Worlds," in The New York Times Book Review, April 14, 1996, p. 14.
[In the positive review of On Grief and Reason below, Kenner praises the title essay of the collection, stating that it is "probably the best piece ever written on the poetry of Robert Frost."]
The vital information: Joseph Brodsky was born in 1940 and came to the United States in 1972 as an involuntary exile from the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and was Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992. He died early this year. The essays and lectures collected in On Grief and Reason are mostly post-Nobel. A writer, then, who spent nearly half his life immersed in a language he hadn't grown up speaking.
That can be enabling; the example of Samuel Beckett in Paris comes to mind, or of Joseph Conrad in London. Conrad, who'd grown up with Polish, even had to choose whether the language for his novels would be French or English, each of which offered a stable and literate public. He is said to have chosen English because he judged the competition less formidable: no British Stendhal or Flaubert to be threatened by. Though his spoken English is reported to have been often impenetrable, his fiction abounds in local brilliances no native speaker would have thought of, like "He was densely distressed."
And Brodsky? How did he navigate...
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Billington, James H. "The Poet Who Proved the Power of Words." Washington Post (January 30, 1996): D1.
Tribute by the librarian of Congress who appointed Brodsky poet laureate of the United States.
Phillips, William. "Intellectuals and Writers since the Thirties." Partisan Review LIX, No. 4 (Fall 1992): 531-58.
Transcript of a panel led by Phillips with writers Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Czeslaw Milosz, and Brodsky. The writers discuss such subjects as the role of writers and intellectuals, history, Eastern European literature, and the influence of religion on society.
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