Anna A. Fedotova
Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University
Soviet ideology in the reception of Joseph Brodsky (in terms of the poem "Speech over Spilled Milk")
Fedotova A.A. Soviet ideology in the reception of Joseph Brodsky (in terms of the poem «Speech over Spilled Milk»). Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, № 2, pp. 75–78 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023- 29-2-75-78
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-2-75-78
УДК: 821.161.1.09”20”
Publish date: 2023-05-15
Annotation: The polemical problem of the Soviet discourse reception in the creative work of young Joseph Brodsky is analysed in this article. What acts as the material for analysis is the 1967 poem «Speech over Spilled Milk», which is not yet studied from this point of view. The traditional methods of the complex philological analysis of the text, as well as intertextual and receptive methods of researching the literary work are used in the article. The main motifs of the text, related to the actualisation of the Soviet ideology by the author, in particular, the reception of Karl Marx’s works by Joseph Brodsky, are revealed in the course of the work. We conclude that, by resorting to irony, Joseph Brodsky is polemicising with the central tenets of Soviet discourse. Joseph Brodsky understands «Sovietness» mainly as the triumph of collectivism over individualism, and the poet has no wish to be led by the impersonal majority, as long as he understands the notorious Soviet regime in this way. What emerges in the poem as an alternative to ochlocracy, the power of the mob, is the lyrical hero’s deeply personal God-seeking. Social gives way to metaphysical, and the poem ends with the hope of affirming the possibility of an individual dialogue with God, while the thesis of «loving neighbour» is not that important. It is proved in the article that the poem «Speech over Spilled Milk» by Joseph Brodsky is a complex semantic unity, built on the involvement and reinterpretation of several discursive systems, above all Soviet and Christian ones.
Keywords: Joseph Brodsky, «Speech over Spilled Milk», reception, Soviet discourse, Karl Marx, intertextuality, irony.
Funding and acknowledgments: The research is conducted for the cost of the Russian scientific fund’s grant No 23-28-00995, https://rscf.ru/project/23-28-00995/
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Author's info: Anna A. Fedotova, Doctor of Philological Sciences, Ushinsky Yaroslavl State Pedagogic University, Russia, gry_anna@mail.ru, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9629-6154