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Mayakovsky, Vladimir (1893–1930) By Krylova, Natalia

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1726-1
Published: 01/10/2017
Retrieved: 26 February 2024, from


Vladimir Mayakovsky (МАЯКОВСКИЙ, ВЛАДИМИР) was a leading Russian poet of the twentieth century and representative of Russian Futurism, a modernist trend that emerged as an attempt to approximate the utopian future through art. Mayakovsky brought experiment and innovation to poetry, drama, cinematography and graphic design, thus changing the entire palette of Russian art.

He made his literary debut in 1912 as a co-author of the scandalous Russian Futurist Manifesto A Slap in the Face of Public Taste (Poshchechina obshchestvennomu vkusu). His concern with the flagrant social injustices of the time aggravated by the First World War led him to write a trilogy of early programmatic poems culminating in A Cloud in Trousers (Oblako v shtanakh, 1915). During this formative period, Mayakovsky met and fell in love with Lili Brik, a woman who would become his life-long muse and the personification of love, faith, and revolution in his oeuvre. The new aesthetic discourse he developed subsequently facilitated the poet’s passionate acceptance of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 that promised to solve all of the tragic controversies of the past. After thirteen years of devoted service to the revolutionary ideals, he gradually became disappointed with the actual social and ethical outcomes of the Revolution.

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Citing this article:

Krylova, Natalia. "Mayakovsky, Vladimir (1893–1930)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 26 Feb. 2024 doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM1726-1

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