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A. Markov

Musical images in the poetry of Ivan Burkin

The article examines musical images in the poetry of Ivan Burkin, one of the brightest poets of the second wave of Russian emigration to the United States. Burkin is often described as a surrealist and absurdist, but in fact, both the origins and principles of his poetics are more complicated: surrealism was only one of the influences, used to depict alienation of a man in a big city, but in fact, his poetics is the transformed heritage of Blok and Pasternak, successfully adapted to the post-war artistic environment of the United States – the development of abstract expressionism, conceptualism and post-conceptualism. Burkin combines the images of the music of the modernist era, but his understanding of modernity as a whole fits into the theories of the new materiality of art, established in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century, for which conceptualization and materialization are two sides of the entry of art into the present contexts and the rejection of a privileged position, sanctioned only by customs of previous eras. Therefore, Burkin rethinks musical affections, on the one hand, insisting on the experience of increased sensitivity, on the other hand, insisting that the forms of new music, including mass and outsider, like blues and jazz prophesy the emergence of new forms of interaction with art in a new system of cultural attractions and repulsions. The evolution of Burkin’s poetry corresponds to the development of art in the United States, including music, and not to the ways of the development of Russian poetry, and therefore his poems can be considered both as a short introduction to new music and as its convincing reception in Russian literature.

Key words

I. Burkin, new music, jazz, blues, poetry of the Russian emigration, Russian emigration to the USA, outsiders, A. Blok, B. Pasternak.

For citation

Markov A. Musical images in the poetry of Ivan Burkin // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 4. Pp. 66–72.