By Leonard Unger, Jay Parini
This complement provides 18 acclaimed writers, together with Jim Harrison, Alfred Kazin, Bobbi Ann Mason, Thomas Merton, Gary Snyder and others.
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Exile and elegiac dialogue with the voices of the past came to define much of Brodsky's poetry as he found freedom in a strange combination of departures and attachments. These are qualities that have helped make him not only a Russian but a RussianAmerican poet, a wanderer in the wilderness of freedom. Joseph Brodsky (in Russian: losif Alexsandrovich Brodskii) was born in Leningrad on May 24, 1940. " His father, Alexander, was a photojournalist who served in the navy during World War II, then served as curator of the photography department in Saint Petersburg's Navy Museum.
You did not finish high school where they prepare . . where they teach . . BRODSKY: I didn't think you could get this from school. JUDGE: How, then? BRODSKY: I think that it ... comes from God . . " During his evaluation, Brodsky was tranquilized and tortured. One particularly bizarre form of torture involved his being dipped in an ice bath, then wrapped in a wet towel and placed next to a heater; as the heat dried the towel, it created a tourniquet effect, cutting into his flesh. Brodsky was sentenced to five years of hard labor in the Far North, despite support from prominent Soviet intellectuals including Akhmatova and composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
Welcome to the place with its roughly five billion like you alive. Welcome to the phone book that stars your name. Digits are democracy's secret aim. Welcome to your claim to fame. The colloquial tone and phrasing, combined with the somewhat prophetic though awkward formality, has a chilling effect. A cosmic perspective of human meaninglessness invades the optimism of late twentieth-century democracy. Brodsky's penchant for verbal play is also in evidence in the colloquial and ironic use of "stars" as a verb.
American Writers: Supplement VIII by Leonard Unger, Jay Parini