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The Golden Mouthed: Selected Poetry of Boris Pasternak and Vladimir Mayakovsky Paperback – April 27, 2004
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What is to be said? English translations of Mayakovsky's poetry are to be welcomed. However, some of these poems are already published in "The Bedbug and Selected Poetry" and "Listen!: Early Poems". In the editor's introduction, he notes that he is selecting Mayakovsky's works not based on his renown as a revolutionist but for their beauty and love. This is, of course, nice, but Mayakovsky's work is perhaps to be taken more seriously as that of a committed Bolshevik. It seems to me that removing this element from it guts it of some substance. Marxist critics correctly note time and again that art cannot be separated from its context.
One other major complaint with this work is the font size, which is abnormally huge. Either a more populated (substantive) or thinner (inexpensive) volume could have been produced with a typical font size. But when options are so limited for English-translations of Mayakovsky's work, such complaints are rather minor, and this book definitely deserves praise just for existing.