Brodsky Abroad: Empire, Tourism, Nostalgia

Paperback | May 26, 2010

bySanna Turoma

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Expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and honored with the Nobel Prize fifteen years later, poet Joseph Brodsky in many ways fit the grand tradition of exiled writer. But Brodsky’s years of exile did not render him immobile: though he never returned to his beloved Leningrad, he was free to travel the world and write about it. In Brodsky Abroad, Sanna Turoma discusses Brodsky’s poems and essays about Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and Venice. Challenging traditional conceptions behind Brodsky’s status as a leading émigré poet and major descendant of Russian and Euro-American modernism, she relocates the analysis of his travel texts in the diverse context of contemporary travel and its critique. Turoma views Brodsky’s travel writing as a response not only to his exile but also to the postmodern and postcolonial landscape that initially shaped the writing of these texts.


    In his Latin American encounters, Brodsky exhibits disdain for third-world politics and invokes the elegiac genre to reject Mexico’s postcolonial reality and to ironically embrace the romanticism of an earlier Russian and European imperial age. In an essay on Istanbul he assumes Russia’s ambiguous position between East and West as his own to negotiate a distinct, and controversial, interpretation of Orientalism. And, Venice, the emblematic tourist city, becomes the site for a reinvention of his lyric self as more fluid, hybrid, and cosmopolitan.


    Brodsky Abroad reveals the poet’s previously uncharted trajectory from alienated dissident to celebrated man of letters and offers new perspectives on the geopolitical, philosophical, and linguistic premises of his poetic imagination.



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From the Publisher

Expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 and honored with the Nobel Prize fifteen years later, poet Joseph Brodsky in many ways fit the grand tradition of exiled writer. But Brodsky’s years of exile did not render him immobile: though he never returned to his beloved Leningrad, he was free to travel the world and write about it. In Brods...

Sanna Turoma is research fellow at the Aleksanteri Institute (Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies) at the University of Helsinki. She is coauthor of the first Finnish-language textbook of the history of Russian literature.

other books by Sanna Turoma

Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:May 26, 2010Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029923634X

ISBN - 13:9780299236342

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   
Note on Translations and Abbreviations   

Introduction   

1. Exile, Tourist, Traveler   
2. A Travel Guide to Imperial Mythologies: Leningrad   
3. A Postcolonial Elegy: Mexico   
4. The Metropolitan Man and the Third World: Rio de Janeiro   
5. Time, Space, and Orientalism: Istanbul   
6. Staging Cultural Differences: Venice   

Conclusion   

Notes   
Bibliography   
Index   

Editorial Reviews

“A great contribution to the existing literature on postcolonial writing, with its discussion of the dilemma of East European emigrants both excited by Western cultural and economic prominence and [denying] its claims for hegemony.”—Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space