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: although he by no means lower back to his loved Leningrad, he used to be loose to go back and forth the realm and write approximately it. In Brodsky in another country, Sanna Turoma discusses Brodsky’s poems and essays approximately Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and Venice. tough conventional conceptions in 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 go back and forth texts within the various context of up to date commute and its critique. Turoma perspectives Brodsky’s trip writing as a reaction not just to his exile but in addition to the postmodern and postcolonial panorama that at first formed the writing of those texts. In his Latin American encounters, Brodsky indicates disdain for third-world politics and invokes the elegiac style to reject Mexico’s postcolonial truth and to paradoxically include the romanticism of an prior 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 special, 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 another country finds the poet’s formerly uncharted trajectory from alienated dissident to celebrated guy of letters and provides 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
Who filled with visions / begins to sink in floods / like Naso by murky waters” (1:278–79). But despite the fact that the speaker rejects the Ovidian model, Ovid does, however, remain the archetypal exile against whom other modes of exilic existence are assessed and defined. In 1965 Brodsky embraced the Ovidian position fully in a poetic adaptation titled “Ex ponto (Poslednee pis’mo Ovidiia v Rim)” (“Ex Ponto [Ovid’s last letter to Rome]”). After this the Ovidian topos reappears in the Black Sea poems and the 1972 “Pis’ma rimskomu drugu” (“Letters to a Roman Friend”).
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. 15 And even further than that, Brodsky’s nostalgia encompasses the era of The Romantic Exiles, which offered the models for modernist literary and exilic identities. 16 In this literary hierarchy the exile occupies the top, and the traveler is a good contender, whereas the tourist hardly qualifies.
As this commentary on Brodsky’s travel poems written in the Soviet Union illustrates, the tropology of travel evolved in Brodsky’s poetry together with the creation of his poetic identity. In his late-1960s and early-1970s poems the romantic and modernist high-cultural models of literary exile gradually replace the Soviet travel romantika and the discovery of modernist urban displacement. But despite Brodsky’s use of the rather obvious Russian lyric conventions and models from Pushkin and Baratynskii to Mandelstam, it seems that the term liricheskii geroi (lyric hero), used in traditional literary criticism to connote the lyric subject of Romantic and modernist poetry, describes Brodsky’s manifestly anti-heroic lyric pose poorly.