Poet Joseph Brodsky: The Nobel Prize in Literature
Iosif Alexandrovich Brodsky - Russian andAmerican poet, playwright and essayist. Expelled from the USSR, he received the Nobel Prize in the year when the active phase of reforms began in the Soviet Union, glasnost was proclaimed, non-state forms of management appeared, and relations with the USA improved markedly.
The Swedish Academy in its official statementcalled his essays and poems, through which he gained fame, an example of comprehensive creative writing, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic power.
In its press release, the Academy paid tributeheroic devotion of Brodsky to his art, noting that the young Leningrad underground poet under the pretext of parasitism was sentenced to camp work in the Far North, and then deprived of citizenship and expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972. At the time of the Nobel Prize, Brodsky lived in New York and spent part of the time at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
The winner, after learning about the award during a dinner in London with the British novelist John Le Carré, said that he was doubly proud - as a Russian and as an American.
47-year-old poet and essayist expressed the hope that inconnection with the new policy of openness and openness, he will have the opportunity to see his 20-year-old son, Andrei, who lives in Leningrad. According to him, the situation in the country has improved significantly compared to the one that was 15 years ago, but he received a prize for literature, not for politics.
Announcing the Nobel PrizeBrodsky, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Professor Stuart Allen, stressed that this is not a political signal to the Soviet Union, in which Brodsky's works remained banned. But one of the five members of the selection committee, Goran Malmqvist of Stockholm University, expressed a demonstrative disagreement. Professor Allen said that he does not know how the Soviet political leadership will react, and this is of little concern to him. According to him, it can show disapproval, as in the case of Solzhenitsyn and Pasternak, but doing this would be stupid, because this is a very, very good poet who grew up and started writing in Russia.
A spokesman for the USSR Foreign Ministry, Gennady Gerasimov, said that the tastes of the Nobel Committee are sometimes strange, and added that he would prefer that the award be given to a native of Trinidad, novelist Naipol.
In what year did Brodsky win the Nobel Prize?
18 members of the Swedish Academy, according to varioussources, selected the winner with an indisputable international artistic reputation and the prospect of long-term creativity. The last criterion became a compulsory measure, because earlier the Academy was becoming a subject of ridicule due to the choice of elderly and unknown nominees for the Nobel Prize.
Brodsky became the second youngest laureate inarea of literature. Albert Camus was 44 years old when he received this award in 1957. In 1987, the prize had a monetary value of about 330,000 US dollars. The official presentation of the Nobel Prize winners of all directions was held on December 10.
Although the details of the discussion of nominees are notthe member of the Academy confirmed that Brodsky was a finalist in 1986, when the Nigerian poet Wole Soyink was defeated. The following year, according to some reports, he outstripped such aspirants as Naipaul, the Mexican critic and poet Octavio Pas and the respectable Spanish poet Camilo Jose Cela, born in 1916.
The Swedish academy seems to have achieved its goal -avoid the sarcasm that accompanied, for example, the decision of 1984 to give the prize to 83-year-old Czechoslovak poet Yaroslav Seifert. The reaction of critical and academic communities to the award of the Nobel Prize to Brodsky was enthusiastic.
There is always a small number of writers,which will forever remain part of literature, and he is one of them - this is the opinion of the writer and critic Susan Sontag. In her opinion, not every great writer receives a Nobel Prize, and not every Nobel Prize is awarded to a great writer, but this is an example when a truly serious, accomplished, outstanding writer became a laureate.
And the assistant professor of the department of Russian literature at Yale University, Susan Amert, named the winner the best Russian poet.
The Nobel Prize of Joseph Brodsky wasis traditionally declared. When the clock struck 13, Professor Allen walked into the crowded meeting room of the Exchange building in the Old Town. Pressing his back to the door and with a face trembling with excitement, he announced the name of Brodsky. The subsequent general approval testified that the attendees followed the author's work.
The Divine Gift
In the biographicalThe certificate says that poetry for Brodsky is a divine gift. It noted the radiant intensity of his language and the amazing mastery of the English idiom in the collection of poems published in 1986 under the title "The History of the Twentieth Century." This book and the collection of the essays of 1986 "Less than one" provided Brodsky's nomination with a great chance of winning. But the poetry on which he built his reputation was first published in the West in 1967 in Russian and was subsequently translated by the author himself and his friends into English.
During the ceremony, Brodsky said that he did not change the language - he uses English, because he likes it, and he still writes good old poems in Russian.
The traditions of Mandelstam and Akhmatova
The Nobel Prize winner Brodsky was born on 24May 1940 in the city of Leningrad. Leaving the school at the age of 15, worked as an assistant to the draftor, stoker and sailor. He taught in Polish and English, wrote poetry and developed his gift of dramatic reading, which is called bordering on musical representations.
Philologists refer it to the Russian modernistthe tradition of Osip Mandelstam, who died in Stalin's death camp, and Anna Akhmatova, an influential representative of Russian poetry, who led the campaign shortly before her death, as a result of which Brodsky was released in 1965. English-speaking sources of his inspiration were poets from John Donne to the contemporaries of Auden and Robert Lowell.
Poetry of Joseph Brodsky with the haunting imageswandering, loss and search for freedom was not political, not the work of an anarchist or even an active dissident. He was a dissident of the spirit, protesting against gray life in the Soviet Union and his materialistic dogmas.
But in a country where poetry and other literatureofficially subordinated to the state, where they were forced to do hard labor in the careers of socialist realism for poetry, the ban on publication of Brodsky's works was inevitable, but thanks to Samizdat he became more and more popular and had to face the literary police.
In 1963 Brodsky was condemned by the Leningrad newspaper, in which his poetry was called pornographic and anti-Soviet. He was interrogated, his work was confiscated, he was placed twice in a psychiatric institution. Finally, he was arrested and brought to trial. Then even thoughts could not arise about the fact that he will receive the Nobel Prize.
In what year was Brodsky convicted?
Unable to condemn the poet for his contentworks, in 1964 authorities charged him with parasitism. They called Brodsky a pseudo poet in corduroy pants, who did not fulfill his constitutional duty to work honestly for the benefit of his homeland. The trial was conducted secretly, although his record was smuggled out and caused Brodsky's popularity in the West, which suddenly acquired a new symbol of artistic dissent in a totalitarian society. The poet was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years of forced labor in a labor camp in the Far North.
But against the background of the protests of writers in the country and for18 months later, the Soviet authorities softened the sentence, and he returned to his native Leningrad. Over the next 7 years, Brodsky continued to write, many of his works were translated into German, French and English and published abroad, and his popularity continued to grow, especially in the West.
The poet was increasingly persecuted for his Jewishnationality and poetry. He was denied permission to go abroad to a conference of writers. Finally, in 1972 he was stripped of his citizenship, taken to the airport and expelled from the country. His parents remained in the USSR.
Auden and Lowell became friends and sponsors of Brodsky after he came to the West. They were attracted to him by conviction, often expressed by fans, that he is "what is needed."
With the help of Professor Karl Proffer and the poetAuden, whom Brodsky met in Vienna upon his arrival from the USSR, the poet settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he became a member of the program for creative people at the University of Michigan. Later he moved to New York, where he taught at Queens College, Mount Holyoke College and other educational institutions. He traveled a lot, but never returned to his homeland even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1977, he became a citizen of the United States.
Meanwhile, his poems, plays, essays and criticismappeared on the pages of many publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Book Review and other journals. For their anthology, Brodsky received the McCarter Award in 1981 and the National Book Critics 1986, an honorary doctorate in literature from Oxford University, and 1987 was the year of Joseph Brodsky's Nobel Prize.
The best poet of our time
According to Thomas Venclova, an associate professor of Russianliterature at Yale University, who met with Brodsky 20 years before, his ascent was rapid - beginning with the first verses, everyone was sure that this is the best modern Russian poet.
Michael Scammell, the head of the Russianliterature of Cornell University, called him the best living Russian writer. According to him, Brodsky refers to the great tradition of poetry of the twentieth century, represented by Mandelstam, Akhmatova and Pasternak. The author of the biography of Alexander Solzhenitsyn also added that Brodsky really has a deep and global view of humanity, and he is busy with the fate of human civilization.
Defender of Freedom and Human Rights
Although Brodsky preferred to be known aspoet, and not as a critic of the USSR, he was an outstanding supporter of human rights and freedom of the press. One of his most powerful essays concerned the refusal of the Soviet authorities to allow him to come to Leningrad to his parents before his mother, an interpreter, died in 1983, and his father, a photographer, died in 1984.
The year of the Nobel Prize Brodsky markedthe beginning of the thaw on land, which, according to the poet’s friends, he still passionately loved. The Soviet literary magazine “New World”, in which the poet first published his epigram for Akhmatova’s poem in 1963, asked permission to publish some of the laureate’s poems.
Joseph Brodsky died on January 28, 1996 in Brooklyn and was buried in Venice.