HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Less Than One: Selected Essays (1986)

by Joseph Brodsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
460541,564 (4.14)12
'Genius . . . bringing ardent intelligence to bear upon poetry, politics and autobiography' Seamus Heaney Essayist and poet Joseph Brodsky was one of the most penetrating voices of the twentieth century. This prize-winning collection of his diverse essays includes uniquely powerful appreciations of great writers- on Dostoevsky and the development of Russian prose, on Auden and Akhmatova, Cavafy, Montale and Mandelstam. These are contrasted with his reflections on larger themes of tyranny and evil, and subtle evocations of his childhood in Leningrad. Brodsky's insightful appreciation of the intricacies of language, culture and identity connect these works, revealing his remarkable gifts as a prose writer. 'Sparkles with intellect, and combines the precision of scholarship with the passion of the poet' The Times Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 12 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Mandelstam was, one is tempted to say, a modern Orpheus: sent to hell, he never returned, while his widow dodged across one-sixth of the earth's surface, clutching the saucepan with his songs rolled up inside, memorizing them by night in the event they were found by Furies with a search warrant.

Brodsky is at his best when speaking about the greats, Tsvetaeva, Mandestam, Auden, Frost. He drifts into crank-ness when speaking philosophically, which he is wont to do in these pages, about Tyranny, Civilization or Evil.

Throughout one’s life, time addresses man in a variety of languages: in those of innocence, love, faith, experience, history, fatigue, cynicism, guilt, decay, etc. Of those, the language of love is clearly the lingua franca.

There is a great deal of longing here, for Petersburg, his parents, for a time when life was free from sweeping definitions of Guilt or Innocence. Yet the pull is too strong. Brodsky sees Evil looming, He asserts that poetry precedes prose, that empires are built on language. He champions Platonov and finds Auden the greatest mind of the 20C. He offers extremely close readings of poems, ones which both dazzle and confront. He is betrays periodically his surprise fortune and then just as deftly leaps form the guilt, if only he could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmMFbCI_f0

Keep this in mind when pondering judgement. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
found among Pop's books
  mckCave7 | Apr 27, 2017 |
Recommended by Kay Ryan.

Amazon: "This collection of essays thrusts Brodsky--heretofore known more for his poetry and translations--into the forefront of the "Third Wave" of Russian emigre writers. His insights into the works of Dostoyevsky, Mandelstam, Platonov, as well as non-Russian poets Auden, Cavafy and Montale are brilliant. While the Western popularity of many other Third Wavers has been stunted by their inability to write in English, Brodsky consumed the language to attain a "closer proximity" to poets such as Auden. The book, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, opens and closes with revealing autobiographical essay. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  clifforddham | Oct 20, 2015 |
Brodski é cativante quando conta suas histórias de vida, a infância marginal na União Soviética, a perseguição, a emigração e os problemas dos pais; e também em seus ensaios sobre história e literatura. Ao mesmo tempo que sua história é trágica e comovente, ele nos faz rir, como quando descreve os estranhos trabalhos que teve, ainda na União Soviética. Seus ensaios mostram sua veneração por alguns autores, e excitam, deixam o leitor curioso, louco para ler mais do que os versos que ele apresenta. Ensaios como “A Guide to a Renamed City” ou “Footnote to a Poem” são tão maravilhosos que senti pena quando terminaram. Adoro como ele fala de como a literatura russa escolheu seguir o caminho de Tolstói, não as grandiosidades de Dostoiévski. ( )
1 vote JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
This collection of Brodsky's essays displays the full range of interests; poetic, literary, political and historical. Essays on writers deal with Akhmatova, Tsvetneva and Madlestam, as well as western poets like Auden, Montale, Cavafy and Derek Walcott. In "Catalogues in the Art", Brodsky addresses the history and future of Russian prose, and in "On Tyranny" and "Flight from Byzantium", he offers meditations on history and the modern age.
1 vote antimuzak | Oct 27, 2005 |
Showing 5 of 5
If there's an essential essay collection, it's this one.
 
Brodsky’s title piece, “Less Than One,” takes us back to his St. Petersburg childhood, and “A Guide to a Renamed City” is a wonderful evocation of the former capital, a city in which a man “spends as much time on foot as any good Bedouin.” Although Less Than One is vitriolic on the subject of Russian politics, the general effect of these essays is of an intelligence as lyrical and benign as Auden’s own. The two pieces on him are outstanding, and there are equally brilliant essays on other poets, on Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, and Mandelstam, Dante, Montale, and Derek Walcott—the last the most illuminating and understanding appraisal that has been written about the West Indian poet.
added by SnootyBaronet | editNew York Review of Books, John Bayley
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brodsky, Josephprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Forti, GilbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jangfeldt, BengtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellendonk, FransTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verheul, KeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
And the heart doesn't die when one thinks it should. Czeslaw Milosz, "Elegy for N.N."
Dedication
In memory of my mother and my father In memory of Carl Ray Proffer
First words
As failures go, attempting to recall the past is like trying to grasp the meaning of existence.
Quotations
What’s interesting about Platonov’s style is that he appears to have deliberately and completely subordinated himself to the vocabulary of his Utopia—with all its cumbersome neologisms, abbreviations, acronyms, bureaucratese, sloganeering, militarized imperatives, and the like.
There is something in the granular texture of the granite pavement next to the constantly flowing, departing water that instills in one’s soles an almost sensual desire for walking. The seaweed-smelling head wind from the sea has cured here many hearts oversaturated with lies, despair, and powerlessness.
To this day, I think that the country would do a hell of a lot better if it had for its national banner not that foul double-headed imperial fowl or the vaguely masonic hammer-and-sickle, but the flag of the Russian Navy: our glorious, incomparably beautiful flag of St. Andrew: the diagonal blue cross against a virginwhite background.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

'Genius . . . bringing ardent intelligence to bear upon poetry, politics and autobiography' Seamus Heaney Essayist and poet Joseph Brodsky was one of the most penetrating voices of the twentieth century. This prize-winning collection of his diverse essays includes uniquely powerful appreciations of great writers- on Dostoevsky and the development of Russian prose, on Auden and Akhmatova, Cavafy, Montale and Mandelstam. These are contrasted with his reflections on larger themes of tyranny and evil, and subtle evocations of his childhood in Leningrad. Brodsky's insightful appreciation of the intricacies of language, culture and identity connect these works, revealing his remarkable gifts as a prose writer. 'Sparkles with intellect, and combines the precision of scholarship with the passion of the poet' The Times Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.14)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 4
3.5 3
4 14
4.5
5 18

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 162,347,354 books! | Top bar: Always visible