Less Than One: Selected Essays - Joseph BrodskyLondon: Viking, 1986, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper rubbed at the top corner of the upper panel. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.
From the cover: “Modern poets have often displayed a strong affinity for writing essays. One thinks of W. H. Auden or T. S. Eliot, Marina Tsvetaeva or Osip Mandelstam, Eugenio Montale or Czeslaw Milosz. In this, Joseph Brodsky is no exception. Less Than One, the first collection of his essays, shows the full range of Brodsky’s interests: poetic, literary, political, and historical.
Less Than One is, in the broadest sense, an intellectual autobiography. The volume includes Brodsky’s remarkable essays on poetry and poetics. In his considerations of the work of Russian writers such as Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, and Mandelstam, as well as Western poets such as Auden, Montale, Cavafy, and Derek Walcott, Brodsky has produced compelling, luminous accounts of twentieth-century poetry. In Catastrophes in the Air, Brodsky addresses the history and future of Russian prose, providing an original description of the life and death of a literary tradition.
Inevitably, Less Than One is also about politics. And in such essays as “On Tyranny” and “Flight from Byzantium,” Brodsky offers profound meditations on history and the modern age. Finally, the book is a personal memoir. In the title essay and In a Room and a Half, the piece which ends the book, Brodsky has written a eulogy to his native city and to the memory of his parents.”