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Joseph Brodsky

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January 9, 2000
Snow is falling, leaving the whole world out-manned and out-maneuvered. Now your private detective agency comes into its own and you catch up with yourself because your prints are so recognizably defective. Not that you're about to collect a reward for turning yourself in. A noiseless, nothing-of-note precinct. With the onset of night, all the light's packed into one star-shard like refugees packed into one boat. Mind you don't go blind.
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BOOKS
July 1, 2001 | LINDA GREGG, Linda Gregg is the author of five books of poems, including "Things and Flesh."
Dear Czeslaw Milosz: I am writing to you in this public way to wish you a happy 90th birthday. There must be a toast in Lithuania that means, "I hope you will live forever." And I want to join in that. I wonder if I ever thanked you properly for allowing me to audit your class at UC Berkeley on gnosticism. I think you knew it had something to do with Joseph Brodsky. When he came to visit me in Wellfleet on Cape Cod in 1974, I was living in an unwinterized cabin in November.
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BOOKS
September 22, 1996
You'll outlast me, good old concrete, as I've outlasted, it seems, some men who had taken me, too, for a kind of street, citing color of eyes, or mien. So I praise your inanimate, porous looks not out of envy but as the next of kin--less durable, plagued with loose joints, though still grateful to the architects. I applaud your humble--to be exact, meaningless--origins, roar and screech, fully matched, however, by the abstract destination, beyond my reach.
BOOKS
October 29, 2000 | JOHN BAYLEY, John Bayley is the author of numerous works, including "Leo Tolstoy," "The Red Hat: A Novel" and "Elegy for Iris."
With a mild malice that is far from innocent, the poet A.E. Housman observed that when readers say they like a poem, they usually mean they like something inside the poem: that is to say, its content or its meaning. As a poet whose poems, so he claimed, suddenly appeared in his head, pure in their poemhood as the driven snow, he was confident he knew what he was talking about. Nonetheless the distinction won't do.
NEWS
January 29, 1996 | GREG KRIKORIAN and RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Joseph Brodsky, the exiled Russian poet whose graceful, often haunting work won him a Nobel Prize and the admiration of political dissenters worldwide, died of heart failure Sunday in New York, at 55. "He was the only Russian poet who enjoyed the right to be called a 'great' in his lifetime," said Yevgeny Kiselyov, the host of Itogi, a weekly news program in Moscow.
BOOKS
October 25, 1987
In villages God does not live only in icon corners as the scoffers claim, but plainly everywhere. He sanctifies each roof and pan, divides each double door. In villages God acts abundantly-- cooks lentils in iron pots on Saturdays, dances a lazy jig in flickering flame, and winks at me, witness to all of this. He plants a hedge, and gives away a bride (the groom's a forester), and, for a joke, he makes it certain that the game warden will never hit the duck he's shooting at.
BOOKS
February 4, 1996
People are what we remember about them. What we call life is in the end a patchwork of someone else's recollections. With death, it gets unstitched, and one ends up with random, disjointed fragments. With shards or, if you will, with snapshots. Filled with their unbearable laughter are equally unbearable smiles. Which are unbearable because they are one-dimensional. I should know; after all, I am a photographer's son.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 1987 | JOSEPH BRODSKY
When a writer resorts to a language other than his mother tongue, he does so either out of necessity, like Conrad, or because of burning ambition, like Nabokov, or for the sake of greater estrangement, like Beckett.
BOOKS
April 27, 1986 | Ross Feld, Feld's latest novel is "Only Shorter" (North Point). He writes frequently on poetry for Parnassus and other magazines. and
After three-quarters of a century of repression (and stone-like, disheartened Depression), is there still such a thing as "the Russian soul"? Without a doubt, Joseph Brodsky would testify--and its kernel continues to be what it always was: gorgeous ambivalence. "A certain advantage of totalitarianism is that it suggests to an individual a kind of vertical hierarchy of his own, with consciousness at the top.
NEWS
February 19, 1996 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
An enigma strikes anyone who has read Russian literature and pondered Russia's history: How could the same country give birth to so many people of outstanding humanity--and, at the same time, as if to a wholly different species, so many murderous goons? In these 21 essays, Joseph Brodsky, the Nobel Prize-winning poet who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and lived in the United States until his death on Jan.
BOOKS
January 9, 2000
Snow is falling, leaving the whole world out-manned and out-maneuvered. Now your private detective agency comes into its own and you catch up with yourself because your prints are so recognizably defective. Not that you're about to collect a reward for turning yourself in. A noiseless, nothing-of-note precinct. With the onset of night, all the light's packed into one star-shard like refugees packed into one boat. Mind you don't go blind.
BOOKS
November 7, 1999 | NICOLE KRAUSS, Nicole Krauss is making a documentary about Joseph Brodsky for the BBC's Radio 3
"English wants to be monosyllabic," Joseph Brodsky was fond of saying as an explanation for his love affair with the language of his adopted country. Brodsky, a poet who settled in the United States in 1972 after being expelled from the Soviet Union, liked language with hard edges that caught in the throat, language that got to the brute point without dilly-dallying ("Grief is brief," he once announced as a way to illustrate the point).
BOOKS
June 21, 1998 | JONATHAN LEVI, Jonathan Levi is a contributing writer to Book Review
Susan Sontag, in "On Photography," has called photographs "inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy." So it is with Mikhail Lemkhin's photo-poem, "Joseph Brodsky / Leningrad: Fragments," a book that invites as much speculation and fantasy toward Brodsky as toward Leningrad itself. Forced into exile, Brodsky wrote about the city of his birth in his essay "Less Than One." "In the national experience, the city is definitely Leningrad; in the growing vulgarity of its content, it becomes Leningrad more and more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1998 | DARRYL FEARS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For Andrew Carroll, it all started with a few simple words he put in a letter to Joseph Brodsky, the poet who had embarked on a mission to turn Americans away from television to poetry. "If there's anything I can do to help, let me know," wrote Carroll, an impressionable English major at Columbia University in New York. Within two weeks, Brodsky sent an answer. Yes, the poet wrote, let's talk.
BOOKS
September 22, 1996
You'll outlast me, good old concrete, as I've outlasted, it seems, some men who had taken me, too, for a kind of street, citing color of eyes, or mien. So I praise your inanimate, porous looks not out of envy but as the next of kin--less durable, plagued with loose joints, though still grateful to the architects. I applaud your humble--to be exact, meaningless--origins, roar and screech, fully matched, however, by the abstract destination, beyond my reach.
NEWS
February 19, 1996 | MICHAEL HARRIS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
An enigma strikes anyone who has read Russian literature and pondered Russia's history: How could the same country give birth to so many people of outstanding humanity--and, at the same time, as if to a wholly different species, so many murderous goons? In these 21 essays, Joseph Brodsky, the Nobel Prize-winning poet who was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and lived in the United States until his death on Jan.
BOOKS
November 7, 1999 | NICOLE KRAUSS, Nicole Krauss is making a documentary about Joseph Brodsky for the BBC's Radio 3
"English wants to be monosyllabic," Joseph Brodsky was fond of saying as an explanation for his love affair with the language of his adopted country. Brodsky, a poet who settled in the United States in 1972 after being expelled from the Soviet Union, liked language with hard edges that caught in the throat, language that got to the brute point without dilly-dallying ("Grief is brief," he once announced as a way to illustrate the point).
BOOKS
February 4, 1996
People are what we remember about them. What we call life is in the end a patchwork of someone else's recollections. With death, it gets unstitched, and one ends up with random, disjointed fragments. With shards or, if you will, with snapshots. Filled with their unbearable laughter are equally unbearable smiles. Which are unbearable because they are one-dimensional. I should know; after all, I am a photographer's son.
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