‘This exhibition is not a jubilee, it’s an account of my work. I demand help – not the glorification of non-existent virtues. That’s what we are talking about, comrades, and not about glorifying private persons.’ Mayakovsky was a poet, playwright, artist, director, actor, diarist, producer of agitprop posters and advertisement slogans, and writer of articles, essays and speeches.
The inherent conflict of his status as an avant-garde communist writer working within the steadily narrowing cultural conditions of early Soviet Russia runs vividly throughout his work, and was a significant contributing factor to his suicide at the age of thirty-six. This groundbreaking collection draws together for the first time Mayakovsky’s key translators from the 1930s to the present day, bringing some remarkable works back into print in the process and introducing poems which have never before been translated.The radical scope of its representation makes for the most comprehensive account of Mayakovsky’s work to date – an account which charts not only the extraordinary range of his creative output, his rigorous and passionate innovation of language and form, and the intense power of his electrifying live performances, but also the fascinating and turbulent history of Mayakovsky’s cultural and political representation in the western world. Edited by Rosy Patience Carrick
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