By Sanna Turoma
Expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and venerated with the Nobel Prize fifteen years later, poet Joseph Brodsky in lots of methods healthy the grand culture of exiled author. yet Brodsky’s years of exile didn't render him motionless: even though he by no means again to his loved Leningrad, he used to be unfastened to commute the area and write approximately it. In Brodsky out of the country, Sanna Turoma discusses Brodsky’s poems and essays approximately Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and Venice. not easy conventional conceptions at the back of Brodsky’s prestige as a number one ?migr? poet and significant descendant of Russian and Euro-American modernism, she relocates the research of his shuttle texts within the varied context of up to date trip and its critique. Turoma perspectives Brodsky’s go back and forth writing as a reaction not just to his exile but additionally to the postmodern and postcolonial panorama that at the beginning formed the writing of those texts. In his Latin American encounters, Brodsky shows disdain for third-world politics and invokes the elegiac style to reject Mexico’s postcolonial fact and to mockingly include the romanticism of an previous Russian and ecu imperial age. In an essay on Istanbul he assumes Russia’s ambiguous place among East and West as his personal to barter a unique, and arguable, interpretation of Orientalism. And, Venice, the emblematic vacationer urban, turns into the location for a reinvention of his lyric self as extra fluid, hybrid, and cosmopolitan. Brodsky in a foreign country finds the poet’s formerly uncharted trajectory from alienated dissident to celebrated guy of letters and gives new views at the geopolitical, philosophical, and linguistic premises of his poetic mind's eye.
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Extra resources for Brodsky Abroad: Empire, Tourism, Nostalgia
14 Aware of the historical changes in the exiled writer’s position, Brodsky’s response to it is an ironic lament: “Whether he likes it or not, Gastarbeiters and refugees of any stripe effectively pluck the orchid out of an exiled writer’s lapel” (GR, 23). All in all, Brodsky’s essay bespeaks nostalgia for an era when writers, and especially writers in exile, had an elitist position in Western societies. The essay bespeaks nostalgia for the privileged position literature enjoyed in Western society before literature had “taken on the dimensions of a demographic phenomenon” (GR, 28), as 22 Exile, Tourist, Traveler he writes.
His home has been pillaged. His herd has been taken away. / His son is hidden by the shepherd in the cave. ] The poems set in the Black Sea region are taken from the literary convention of an exiled poet traveling by the sea with references to Pushkin’s southern exile. The Odessa poem “In front of A. S. Pushkin’s statue in Odessa” thematizes the biographical parallel between the two poets, while the 1968 “Elegy” dedicated to Naiman and the 1970 “Sonnet” dedicated to Evgenii Rein, both written on Yalta, rework the Pushkinian topos by transposing the elegiac identity seminal to Russian Romantic poetry onto a Soviet tourist site.
The Odessa poem “In front of A. S. Pushkin’s statue in Odessa” thematizes the biographical parallel between the two poets, while the 1968 “Elegy” dedicated to Naiman and the 1970 “Sonnet” dedicated to Evgenii Rein, both written on Yalta, rework the Pushkinian topos by transposing the elegiac identity seminal to Russian Romantic poetry onto a Soviet tourist site. In “Elegy” Brodsky strikes the Pushkinian posture by evoking the vot ia snova (here again I) convention, while in “Sonnet” the speaker projects the topos onto the future by anticipating another poem on the southern coast, where “in the dull fumes of a semi-basement café” —не раз Еще, во всяком случае, я буду Сидеть в своем углу и без тоски прикидывать, чем кончится все это.