“This Whole Realm is Just Static”. Socio-politics in Joseph Brodsky’s Early Poetry Cover Image
  • Price 4.90 €

„Ten kraj zastygł w bezruchu”. Problematyka społeczno-polityczna we wczesnej poezji Josifa Brodskiego
“This Whole Realm is Just Static”. Socio-politics in Joseph Brodsky’s Early Poetry

Author(s): Anna Cichy
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: society; politics; Russian poetry; Brodsky; autobiographical contexts

Summary/Abstract: The paper is a proposed interpretation of Joseph Brodsky’s pre-1972 lyrical works in their socio-political aspect. The poet’s attitude towards his home town, Petersburg, a cultural melting pot situated at the outskirts of one of the world’s most powerful states, plays a chief role in these works. The poet’s reference to that city is analysed in the first part of the text. Petersburg becomes a mirror reflecting everyday Russian reality dominated by despotic authorities. The position of Russia on the cultural map of Europe is illustrated on the example of Petersburg. In the second part of the analysis, I show how Brodsky refers to the history of Ruthenia, presented in contrast to contemporary Russia. The latter, in Brodsky’s view, bears bitter testimony to the collapse of classical values. Brodsky underlines his distance from the political situation of the Soviet Union by invoking the antique legacy. The biography of the Nobel Prize winner is a strong influence in his early works, which bring out his conflicts with the authorities. The interpreted poems abound in references not only to the political situation, but also to the author’s private life. Beside the negative depiction of the authorities, the government and collaborators who surrendered to the oppressive system, Brodsky expresses his strong emotional longing for the city of his childhood. In the last subsection of my paper, I focus on the poetic imagery used by Brodsky at that time. The summary mostly refers to two geographical perspectives we find in the poems: one with Petersburg as the center and the other presenting a viewpoint of the exile, who has had to bid farewell to his country.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 30
  • Page Range: 111-124
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish