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Mayakovsky, Vladimir

Entry updated 7 May 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1893-1930) Russian poet and playwright, a revolutionary from early years, a Futurist poet whose verse radically shocked post-Revolution Russia. Of particular sf interest is his first fully fledged prose Satirical play, Klop (performed 1929; 1929; trans Guy Daniels as The Bedbug in The Complete Plays of Vladimir Mayakovsky, coll 1968), in which, some generations hence, a Soviet bureaucrat who has been in Suspended Animation, is kept in a Zoo after he proves both charismatic and transgressive. Banya (1930; trans Guy Daniels in the same 1968 volume), set in the contemporary USSR, employs a similar array of satirical tools. These two plays were sufficiently sharp in their criticism of the blandness of Soviet ideas that a good deal of official criticism descended on Mayakovsky's head, though not fatally – his suicide seems to have been caused more through personal disillusion with the Communist enterprise under Stalin than by any threats (Stalin himself canonized Mayakovsky after his death). [JC]

see also: Theatre.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

born Baghdati [now Mayakovsky], Russia [now Georgia]: 19 July 1893 [7 July 1893 Old Style]

died Moscow: 14 April 1930


  • Klop: Feericheskaíà komediíà (Moscow: USSR: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo, 1929) [play: chap: first performed February 1929 Meyerhold Theatre, Moscow: music by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975): binding unknown/]
    • The Bedbug in The Bedbug and Selected Poetry (New York: Meridian, 1960) [coll: trans by May Hayward of the above: plus other material: pb/]
  • Banya [no separate publication discovered: binding unknown/]


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