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Durham e-Theses
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Contradictions and Paradoxes: Apoliticism and the Myth of Joseph Brodsky

PRICE, MEGAN (2014) Contradictions and Paradoxes: Apoliticism and the Myth of Joseph Brodsky. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores the notion of the political in the poetry and biographical myth of Joseph Brodsky. It questions the received perception of Brodsky as an apolitical poet, arguing that Brodsky’s apolitical identity is a self-constructed biographical myth. To this end, the thesis analyses the approaches applied to Brodsky’s poetry in Anglophone criticism, showing that Brodsky’s self-constructed myth has tended to influence critical attitudes. It studies the way in which scholars’ acceptance of Brodsky’s statements about his poetry have broadly perpetuated the poet’s projected self-myth. As such, the thesis counters these approaches with close readings of Brodsky’s self-projection within his poetry and of the themes of alienation and freedom, as well as an examination of certain poems in relation to their explicit engagement with political themes, such as ‘Glagoly’ (1960), ‘Ryby zimoi’ (1960), and ‘Konets prekrasnoi epokhi’ (1968). Ultimately, the thesis advances an argument for a reassessment of Brodsky’s poetry in light of a more nuanced understanding of how his myth operates in the post-Romantic tradition of poetic biography.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Keywords:Joseph Brodsky Politics Myth Romanticism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Sep 2014 10:40

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