From Library Journal
This study argues that, as the last great Russian poet in the bardic tradition--that is, the last to be taken so seriously by the state as to be put in mortal peril by it--Brodsky created his own state of poetic exile. He allowed the effect on him of such Russian poets as Boris Slutsky, Evgeny Rein, and Alexander Kushner to combine with the impact of outsiders like Donne and Auden to produce "a kind of spontaneous combustion." Bethea (Slavic languages, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) presents his study as a monograph, though it is in large part a compilation of essays that have appeared elsewhere and are connected only by their focus on Brodsky. The effect is a little like exploring a complex landscape using partial maps and shrewd guesses; one comes away with knowledge of and even a certain affection for the subject, if not a comprehensive understanding. For academic collections.- David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Winner of the 1996 Literary Scholarship Award, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages
"A sympathetic, inward account of its subject, showing the grandeur, yet modesty, of Brodsky's stance, and finnishing with a suggestive afterword on the future for a bardic veiw of poetry and an umpoetic world . . . [Bethea] does justice to a phenomenally giffted writer who is one of the voices most worth listening to as our millennium slips away."--Times Literary Supplement