Revolution And Abroad

In the early 1900s Russia began to descend into civil war as the Bolshevkis began to struggle for power against the Provisional Government that had been put in place after the abdication of the tsar. Mayakovsky's poetry at this point began to switch from futurism to works inspird by solidiers, revolutionaries, and the October Revolution. He also began working for ROSTA, the Russian State Telegraph Agency, creating posters and jingles. Apparently present in Petersburg on the day of the revolution, he recalls hearing one such ROSTA jingle, «Bolt your pineapple, stuff your face with quail/ Your last day, burgeois, has come wihtout fail!» being recited by Bolshevkis as they marched on the Winter Palace. His poetry from here continued to express his political ideas, especially his criticism of the burgeoise. His second play, «Mystery Bouffe», is one such example: a sort of utopic work, where the «clean» burgeoise get overthrown by the «unclean» workers of the revolution.
In 1922, Mayakovsky traveled abroad for the first time, going to Riga, then Berlin, and then to Paris. There the idea of the «revolution abroad» seemed to be confirmed, as there were strong Communist parties and leftist movements in both Germany and France, and he largley spent his time visiting writers and literary circles. Upon returning home, he began lecturing about his time abroad, talking primarily about European art movements. This time would also be important for Mayakovsky because in 1923, he became editor of the journal LEF (ЛЕФ), or «Left Front of the Arts.» The journal served the purpose of uniting the many avant garde and leftist artists in Russia and discussing how their works could further the socialist message. This period also saw many of his mos important verses: «About That», another verse which deals with his feelings for Lilya Brik, and «Vladimir Ilich Lenin», a tribute to the socialist leader after his death in 1924. 1924 also saw Mayakovsky make another trip abroad, this time succeeding in getting to Mexico and New York, chronicling his thoughts in his prove travel narrative, «My Discovery of America.»

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