23.07.2015 – 30.08.2015

The exhibition of lifetime editions of the works by Joseph Brodsky «Poetry means existence of soul»

Dated for the 75-th anniversary of the poet

23 July 2016 In the framework of the Year of Literature the Velimir Khlebnikov House-Museum presents the exhibition of lifetime editions of Joseph Brodsky. The very title of the exhibition is a line taken from one of the Joseph Brodsky's poems that continues as: “Poetry means existence of soul that is looking for an exit in language”.  

An established Russian poet Joseph Brodsky born in Leningrad in Leningrad was a son to a navy officer A.I. Brodsky and an interpreter M.V. Volpert. He was independent from his childhood. In his eight grade he gave up studying at school and went working as a milling-machine operator at the factory and than as a fireman and a sailor.  

In 1961 a poetess Anna Akhmatova organized a group of young Leningrad poets included: Brodsky, Rein, Nyman, Bobyshev. Joseph Brodsky was a leader of the four. He was a KGB character. In February 1964 he was arrested. He was tried formally for “parasitism” but in fact for his poems. He was sentenced to five years had labor in the village of Norenskaya. Brodsky’s sentence was commuted in a year and a half on the basis of Sartre’s application.   

Afterwards he was smuggled out of the USSR, had a brilliant career on poetry and won the Noble Prize.

It is the first time the exhibition of lifetime editions of the works by Joseph Brodsky has been held in Astrakhan. It shows only rare editions: sets of works published in the USA (Ardis Publishing, Chekhov Publishing House), rare posters, photos, lifetime three-volume edition of his poems (sum total 25 exhibits). The collector A.A. Mamaev will tell how American sets of works by the-poet-in disgrace (published in 1970-s) resided in Astrakhan.  

Home editions of Brodsky’s works began coming out from the printers only in Perestroika times. They are also showcased in the Khlebnikov museum. Besides tours the exhibition itself is accompanied by Brodsky’s poems reciting, demonstrating video fragments of documentaries and movies (“Strolls with Brodsky”, “A room and a half”). Modern editions devoted to Brodsky from “American cabinet of Joseph Brodsky” (Saint-Petersburg) will also be on exhibition display.   

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