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literature

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Kuzmin, Mikhail Alekseyevich (1872-1936)  
 
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He published two more collections of verse at this time, Ekho (Echo, 1921) and Paraboly (Parabolas, 1922), as well as two chapters of Roman Wonders (1922), which is set in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and which he felt was his finest work of prose.

Ultimately, however, Kuzmin's writing fell into political disfavor, with Lev Trotsky (1879-1940) stating, in his Literature and Revolution (1924), that Kuzmin's books were disreputable and useless.

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Kuzmin's final great work was Forel' razbivaet led (The Trout Breaks the Ice, 1929), a poem sequence in often highly imagistic and symbolic form that focuses predominantly on one man's idealized, and ultimately reciprocated, love for another. The sequence is also characterized by an economy of language, an aesthetic sensitivity, and decadent characters.

When Kuzmin read sections of the sequence in his last public performance in 1928, the gate-crashing crowd of homosexuals and other supporters showered the writer with flowers. Knyazev appears in the sequence as the "stripling with a bullet through his brain," and Yurkun appears as Mister Dorian, an allusion to Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Kuzmin died in 1936 of pneumonia, two years before Yurkun and many other writers were arrested under the Stalinist regime and shot. Respected by many of his contemporaries, including Blok, Mayakovsky, and Velemir Khlebnikov (1885-1922), Kuzmin's work is currently experiencing renewed attention in Russia and elsewhere.

Dennis Denisoff

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    Bibliography
   

Green, Michael. "Mikhail Kuzmin and the Theatre." Russian Literature Triquarterly 7 (1973): 243-267.

Kuzmin, Mikhail. Proza. Vladimir Markov, ed. and intro. 3 vols. Berkeley: Berkeley Slavic Specialties, 1984.

_____. Selected Prose and Poetry. Michael Green, ed. and trans. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1979.

_____. Sobranie stikhov. John E. Malmstad and Vladimir Markov, eds. 3 vols. Munich: Fink Verlag, 1977-1978.

_____. Wings, Prose and Poetry. Neil Granoien and Michael Green, eds. and trans. Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1972.

Malmstad, John E. And N. Bogomolov. Mikhail Kuzmin: A Life in Art. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Markov, Vladimir. "Poeziya Mikhaila Kuzmina." Sobranie stikhov. vol. 3. Munich: Fink Verlag, 1977-1978. 321-426.

Moreva, G. A., ed. Mikhail Kuzmin i russkaia kultura dvatsatova veka: tezusi i materiali konferentsii 15-17 maia 1990 g. Leningrad: Sovet no istorii mirovoi kulturi an sssr, 1990.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Denisoff, Dennis  
    Entry Title: Kuzmin, Mikhail Alekseyevich  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 10, 2007  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/kuzmin_ma.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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