Some very interesting essays by Mikhail Aizenberg, on (relatively) recent history of poetry in Russia, translated in a special issue of Russian Studies in Literature (vol. 32, spring 1996). Moscow has a special perspective on the Petersburg poets. Aizenberg has some very acute things to say about a poetry of "direct response" - really new poetry - as opposed to a poetry of Poetry (contemporaries so overshadowed and awed by the "four horsemen" - Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Pasternak, Mandelstam - & Brodsky). He writes how the latter actually becomes a kind of "narrative" of the Tradition itself, which differs in kind from the immediate roots of lyric poetry (no matter how impoverished, banal, ordinary). Emphasizes that the zone where everything really important happens is in the interaction between everyday experience, ordinary speech, & the lyric impulse.

I'm paraphrasing mightily. Aizenberg (unlike myself) does not go in for windy discoursing, either - he talks very specifically about the poets around him & immediately before (most of them unknown to American readers).

No comments: