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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Igor Stravinsky vs. Duke Ellington

In our lessons on the history of music at school, why did we learn so much about Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), and were never told about Duke Ellington (1899-1974)?

Why has Mikhail Bakhtine’s Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1929) been so much read and commented on in France, while Brooks and Warren’s Understanding Poetry (1938) has been so persistently ignored?

Why do I know Acmeism only because (to my great delight) I studied Russian, when contemporary Futurism is known, if only by name, to most literary people (even those like me who did not, to their great regret, study Italian)?

Modigliani, portrait of Anna Akhmatova

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