Vladimir Mayakovsky: Selected Works
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Published Date :
Published By Enitharmon Press
ISBN : 9781910392164
Category : Poetry and Comedy
Format : Paperback
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"His poetry, full of neologisms, punchy metaphors, original imagery, syncopated rhythm and staccato lines, stuns the reader with its energy and self-confidence and shouts across the years" Spectator (2015).; "Mayakovsky, the whirlwind Russian who composed grandiose, sprawling poems about revolution, romantic love, the Soviet Union and himself ... a captivating, contradictory, frustrating human being. Who would not want to go and read his works?" Telegraph (2015)Vladimir Vladimirovich 'Volodya' Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was born in Georgia on 19 July 1893. Following the death of his father in 1906 he moved to Moscow with his mother and two sisters. At the age of fifteen he became a member of the Bolshevik party, and between 1908 and 1910 was arrested three times for revolutionary activity, and imprisoned for a total of seven months. In 1912 Mayakovsky co-founded the Russian Futurist move- ment and in 1915, the same year 'A Cloud in Trousers' was first published, he met Lily and Osip Brik, who would become his lifelong friends and, respec- tively, his lover and muse, and his publisher. Between 1919 and 1922 he produced thousands of agitational posters for the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) and, in the following year, began to create advertisement posters for state-produced goods including light bulbs, cigarettes, dummies, watches and galoshes. From 1923 to 1925 he co-edited, with Osip Brik, the arts journal LEF (Left Front of Arts), the successor to which (New LEF, 1927-29), he co-edited with Sergei Tretyakov. Between 1922 and 1929 Mayakovsky gave lectures and readings in Riga, Paris, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Mexico and various cities around the United States, including New York, where he fathered a child with Russian emigree Yelizaveta Jones (nee Ziebert). His daughter Yelena was born on June 15th, 1926, in New York, where she still lives. From the mid-twenties, much of Mayakovsky's work expressed criticism of those who capitalized on the reintroduction of free trade under Lenin's 1921 New Economic Policy, and fought for ways to avoid slipping back into the conditions of pre-revolutionary life. His final works included poems that defended his own commitment to communism - a position frequently challenged on the basis of perceived individualism and the 'incomprehensible' aesthetics of many of his works - and satirical attacks on the emergence of a new privileged class of high-ranking party members in Stalin's increasingly bureaucratic society. The last and most direct of these, the 1930 play The Bathhouse, was scathingly attacked in return by the literary bureaucrats of the State-run press, by whom Mayakovsky's subsequent Twenty Years of Work exhibition was almost entirely boycotted. On many occasions throughout his life Mayakovsky had expressed suicidal intentions, and on April 14th, 1930, he shot himself through the heart in his office room in Lubyanka Passage, Moscow. He is buried in Novodevichy cemetary in Moscow, alongside his mother and sisters.

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