Resurrecting Mayakovsky

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Sunday Feature2017111920190806 (R3)

Vladimir Mayakovsky was the leading poet of the Russian Revolution.

A revolutionary in his personal life as well as in his art, Mayakovsky sought to overthrow traditional practices and become the spokesperson for a radical new society. But the tensions and demands of speaking on behalf of the fledgling Soviet state would take its toll. In 1930, a nation went into mourning when Mayakovsky took a pistol and shot himself through the heart.

Ian Sansom has been reading Mayakovsky since he was a teenager, inspired by Mayakovsky's uncompromising example as a total artist.

Ian travels to Mayakovsky's birthplace in Georgia to meet the poets, translators and academics seeking to keep Mayakovsky's legacy alive. With rare archive recordings of Mayakovsky reading his own work, Ian asks if the spirit of Mayakovsky deserves to be resurrected.

Producer: Conor Garrett.

Ian Sansom looks at the life and legacy of Soviet poet and artist, Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Exploring music, history, science, philosophy, film, visual arts and literature.