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Behind the Masks of ModernismGlobal and Transnational Perspectives$
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Andrew Reynolds and Bonnie Roos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061641

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061641.001.0001

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The Emotion as Such

The Emotion as Such

Un/Masking the Poet in Mayakovsky’s Work

(p.135) 6 The Emotion as Such
Behind the Masks of Modernism

Connor Doak

University Press of Florida

Connor Doak discusses Russian writer Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose work uses the idea of lyrical masks as an outward and visible expression of an inner tension, a tension almost always exposing a different side of cultural identity. The centrality on the visual coincides with a modernity immersed in spectacle and transgression of historical norms. This breach is mediated by the very mask as it hides and protects while fulfilling its revelatory function. Doak’s “The Emotion as Such” focuses on how the Russian Futurists deviated from their Realist aesthetic history to use masquerade (face-painting, costume, outlandish attire) both in their public self-fashioning and as metaphor in their poetry. By Doak’s account, through this lyrical masking, they transgressed gender norms and used “primitive” animal personas, through which they could reveal softer, more sentimental aspects that were inconsistent with Russian Futurism as we typically conceive it.

Keywords:   Russia, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Futurism

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