A provocative new perspective on Brodsky's poetry.
Literary criticism of the work of Russian poet Joseph Brodsky has tended to be biographical, stressing the significance of physical or metaphysical exile, estrangement, and alienation in his poetry. In a welcome move away from previous emphases, David MacFadyen argues that Brodsky's corpus was inspired by a baroque aesthetic.
MacFadyen shows that the works of John Donne, the existential philosophy of Kierkegaard and Sestov, and the cities of St Petersburg and Venice inspired in Brodsky a fundamentally Baroque evolution. He provides a compelling and comprehensive examination of Brodsky's poetry and prose in a fascinating overview of some problems of post-soviet aesthetics. The book concludes with a reassessment of Brodsky's final role, that of cross-cultural, bilingual essayist.
Joseph Brodsky and the Baroque will appeal to students and scholars of Russian literature as well as the growing body of Brodsky's admirers.