Article Index



Ian Probstein. THE RIVER OF TIME.

Time-Space, History, and Language in Avant-Garde, Modernist, and Contemporary Russian and Anglo-American Poetry.

Brighton Mass.: Academic Studies Press, 2017.





This book explores the changing perception of time and space in avant-garde, modernist, and contemporary poetry. The author characterizes the works of modern Russian, French, and Anglo-American poets based on their attitudes towards reality, time, space, and history revealed in their poetics. The author compares the work of major Russian innovative poets Osip Mandelstam, Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Joseph Brodsky with that of W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and, in spite of the postmodernist “estrangement” of reality, the author proves that similar traces can be found in the work of contemporary American poets John Ashbery and Charles Bernstein. Both affinities and drastic differences are revealed in the poets’ attitudes towards time-space, reality, and history.



Introduction. Forms of Time-Space (Chronotope) in Poetry


Part One. Beyond Barriers: Avant-Gardе and Futurism

1. Forms of Chronotope in Avant-Garde Poetry  
2. “The King of Time” and “The Slave of Time”: Velimir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky


Part Two. Chronotopes of Reality and History in the Poetry of Osip Mandelstam, W. B. Yeats, and Ezra Pound

1. Nature and “The Artifice of Eternity”: The Relation to Nature and Reality for Yeats, Pound, and Mandelstam
2. “Sailing to Byzantium”—“Sailing after Knowledge”: Byzantium as a Symbol of Cultural Heritage in Mandelstam, Yeats, and Pound
3. Fear and Awe: Osip Mandelstam’s “The Slate Ode”


Part Three. T. S. Eliot: “Liberation from the Future as Well as the Past”

1. The Waste Land as a Human Drama Revealed by Eliot’s Dialogic Imagination
2. “Liberation from the Future as well as the Past”: Time-Space and History in Four Quartets


Part Four. Joseph Brodsky: “The River of Time” or “What Gets Left of a Man”

Part Five. John Ashbery: “Time Is an Emulsion”

Part Six. Charles Bernstein: “Of Time and the Line”