VLADIMIR MAYAKOVSKY Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (July 7 (O.S.) July 19 (N.S.), 1893 - April 14, 1930) was among the foremost representatives for the poetic futurism of early 20th century Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Union.


Life and work He was born the third child in Bagdadi , Georgia where his father worked as a forest ranger.
Both parents were descendants of Cossacks. At the age of 14 Mayakovsky took part in socialist demonstrations at the town of Kutaisi, where he attended the local Grammar School. After the sudden and premature death of his father in 1906, the family - Mayakovsky, his mother, and his two sisters - moved to Moscow, where he attended the school No. 5.


In Moscow Mayakovsky developed a passion for Marxist literature and took part in numerous activities of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party; he was to later become an RSDLP (Bolshevik) member. In 1908, he was dismissed from the Grammar School due to his mother’s inability to afford tuition.


Around that time, Mayakovsky was imprisoned on three occasions for subversive political activities, but being underage, he avoided deportation. During a period of solitary confinement in Butyrka prison in 1909, he commenced writing poetry, but his poems were confiscated. On his release from prison, he continued working within the socialist movement, and in 1911 he joined the Moscow Art School where he became acquainted with members of the Russia’s Futurist movement. He became a leading spokesman for the group Gileas, and a close friend to David Burlyuk , whom he saw as his mentor.


The 1912 Futurist publication, A Slap in the Face of Public Taste printed Mayakovsky’s first published poems: “Night” , and “Morning” . Because of their political activities, Burlyuk and Mayakovsky were expelled from the Moscow Art School in 1914.


His work continued in the Futurist vein until 1914. His artistic development then shifted increasingly towards narrative-based directions and it is this work, published during the period immediately preceding the Russian Revolution, which was to establish his reputation as a poet in Russia and abroad.


A Cloud in Trousers (1915) was Mayakovsky’s first major poem of appreciable length and it depicted the heated subjects of love, revolution, religion, and art written from the vantage point of a spurned lover. The language of the work was the language of the streets, and Mayakovsky went on to considerable lengths to deconstruct the idealistic and romaticised notions of poetry and poets.