Vladimir V. Mayakovsky
( 19.07.1893 - 14.04.1930)

  He was born in a Bagdady village of Kutaisi province. His father was a nobleman, who served the forest warden. His mother - from clan of Kuban cossacs.
  In 1902 — 1906 Mayakovsky studied in the Kutaisi grammar school. in July, 1906, after death of the father, together with the mother and two sisters Mayakovsky moves in Moscow, where he go in IV class of 5-th classical grammar school (for non-payment of money for training he was excluded from V class in March, 1908).
  In Moscow Mayakovsky gets acquainted with revolutionary students, takes a great interest to the literature of K. Marx, enters in the beginning of 1908 a party of bolsheviks, is exposed to arrests, 11 months will carry out(spend) in prison, whence is exempted in January, 1910 as the minor. In prison Mayakovsky has written book of verses (1909), which was selected by supervisors; from it the poet estimated a beginning of the creativity. After clearing from prison he interrupts party work, that " to make socialist art ". In 1911. Mayakovsky acts in a Moscow Institute for the Study of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
  Mayakovsky's career as a poet was born in 1912, as the result of a late-night conversation with David Burliuk. Burliuk, a fellow student at the Moscow Institute for the Study of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, had recognized the need for organization and unification in achieving a complete cultural revolution, and established a group of literary Futurists under the name of "Hylaea." Composed of individuals committed to creating new forms in art and literature, Hylaea issued illustrated publications and manifestos which inspired the gravitation of other Russian artists towards Futurism, and set the tone for the awakening of the Russian avant-garde. Having introduced Mayakovsky to his friends as "The famous poet Mayakovksy," (despite Mayakovsky's never having written a line of verse), Burliuk provided him with a role and a purpose which Mayakovsky would strive to fulfill forever. In December, 1912. Mayakovsky debuts as the poet in the almanac "the Slap in the face to public taste " , where his poems "Night" and "Morning" were printed.
  In the manifest was proclaimed negative attitude to the Russian literature of the present and past: " To throw Pushkin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and others from the steamship of modernity". Creatively fruitful for Mayakovsky became 1913. His poetic monodrama Vladimir Mayakovsky was performed in St. Petersburg in 1913.
  Between 1914 and 1916 Mayakovsky completed two major poems, "Oblako v shtanakh" (1915; "A Cloud in Trousers") and "Fleytapozvonochnik" (written 1915, published 1916; "The Backbone Flute"). Both record a tragedy of unrequited love and express the author's discontent with the world in which he lived. Mayakovsky sought to "depoetize" poetry, adopting the crude language of the man in the street and using the most daring technical innovations. Above all, his poetry is declamatory, for mass audiences.
  When the Russian Revolution broke out, Mayakovsky was wholeheartedly for the Bolsheviks. Such poems as "Oda revolutsi" (1918; "Ode to Revolution") and "Levy marsh" (1919; "Left March") became very popular. So too did his Misteriya-buff (first performed 1921; "Mystery-Bouffe"), a drama representing a universal flood and the subsequent joyful triumph of the "Unclean" (the proletarians) over the "Clean" (the bourgeoisie).
  As a vigorous spokesman for the Communist Party, Mayakovsky expressed himself in many ways. From 1919 to 1921 he worked in the Russian Telegraph Agency as a painter of posters and cartoons, which he provided with apt rhymes and slogans. He poured out topical poems of propaganda and wrote didactic booklets for children, while lecturing and reciting all over Russia. In 1924 he composed a 3,000-line elegy on the death of Lenin. After 1925 he traveled in Europe, the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, recording his impressions in poems and in a booklet of caustic sketches, Moye otkrytiye Ameriki (1926; "My Discovery of America"). He also found time to write scripts for motion pictures, in some of which he acted. In his last three years he completed two satirical plays: Klop (performed 1929; The Bedbug), lampooning the kind of philistine that emerged with the New Economic Policy in the Soviet Union, and Banya (performed in Leningrad on Jan. 30, 1930; "The Bathhouse"), a persiflage of bureaucratic stupidity and opportunism under Stalin.
  Mayakovsky's poetry was saturated with social meaning, but no amount of social propaganda could stifle his personal need for love, which burst out again and again because of repeated romantic frustrations. After his early lyrics this need came out particularly strongly in two poems, "Lyublyu" (1922; "I Love") and "Pro eto" (1923; "About This"). To make things worse, during a stay in Paris in 1928, he fell in love with a refugee, Tatiana Yakovleva, whom he wanted to marry but who refused him (see "The end of Tatiana"). At the same time, he had misunderstandings with the dogmatic Russian Association of Proletarian Writers and with Soviet authorities. Nor was the production of his Banya a success.
  Disappointed in love, increasingly alienated from Soviet reality, and denied a visa to travel abroad, he committed suicide in Moscow.
  Mayakovsky was, in his lifetime, the most dynamic figure of the Soviet literary scene, but much of his utilitarian and topical poetry is now out of date. His predominantly lyrical poems and his technical innovations, however, influenced a number of Soviet poets, and outside Russia his impress has been strong, especially in the 1930s, after Stalin declared him the "best and most talented poet of our Soviet epoch."




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