2 Answers

  1. I. Brodsky's poem “Two Hours in the Tank” (1965) is the best example of Russian macaronic poetry, which includes foreign-language words, phrases, and syntactic solutions. Usually macaronic poetry in Europe was university poetry, parodying the scholastic scientific speech of professors, or courtly poetry mixing specialized languages. Here the macaroni principle is aimed at criticizing the university myth, which gave rise to a new Faust-an aesthete who justifies his collaboration with a scientific omnivore. The new Faust acts, like Goethe's Faust, as a transformerof nature: only it performs not irrigation, but colonization of cultural languages, translating the content of various cultural languages into the common language of its fears. Also, this new Faust, like Thomas Mann's Dr. Faustus, understands art as a field of calculation, selling the soul for artistic success – and the seduction of Marguerite is then identified with the glamour of a successful artist. The world of this hero is contrasted with theological reasoning, which, following the English metaphysicians, asserts the impossibility of trade between the flesh and the spirit. In the end, even Goethe himself turns out to be the creator of myths at the end of the poem, in particular, the myth of the poet's immortality, which for Brodsky carries a totalitarian threat. Faust must surpass Goethe by expanding the possibilities of poetic language, and the God of the English metaphysicians must surpass Faust by showing the limitations of poetic language.

  2. I asked this question, but I came to no conclusion on my own.

    “Two Hours in the Tank” is one of my favorite works by Brodsky (after”Room and a Half”). It attracted me and continues to attract me with its macaroni style of writing, when the author uses two languages… in this case, of course, he had to slightly distort both Russian and German, the native language of Dr. Faust, which is, in fact, in question.

    The poem begins with an epigraph by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin “I'm bored, imp..”. A small hint of what will be discussed next.

    The main character of the poem, of course, is Dr. Faust, the “superman”, a typical German of the 18th century. He is punctual, meticulous, and his mind takes precedence over his feelings. He loves life, but he loves chaos…Their libe life and I love chaos.”). He wants everything he can get. Faustus was a well-bred, decent man, courted girls, studied hard. Actually, I think you know who Faust is.

    Brodsky clearly does not like him, he literally hates this hero, comparing him to a fascist. Brodsky did not believe in magic and Higher Powers, as Faust did. Brodsky, simply put, makes fun of him. Makes fun of the human vices that are inherent in everyone.

    But I personally think that Faust is a collective image. Faust is a man, a very ordinary man. They say that we notice sawdust in other people's eyes, but we don't notice logs in our own. This phrase can be applied to this poem as well. Man is pathetic, helpless. A person looks like something else, something that the author looks up to, as I wrote earlier. My favorite part of the poem. It directly touches on the subject of G-d and, frankly speaking, humiliates a person.

    “…There is a mystique. There is faith. There is a Lord./ There is a difference between them. And there is unity. / harms some, saves others the flesh./ Disbelief is blindness. And more often – swinishness…”

    In these four lines, the author still feels the hope that Something may still be there, but, alas, this does not last long:

    “…G-d looks down. And people look up. / However, everyone's interest is different./ G-d is organic. Yes. And the man?/ And the person must be limited…”

    And such were and are all “superhumans”, according to Brodsky.:

    “…Such was Faust. Such are/ Marlowe and Goethe, Thomas Mann and the mass/ of singers, intellectuals and, alas, readers among a different class…”

    The end of these “superhumans” is obvious. And it turns out that these “superhumans” are ordinary mortal people. The German from the poem takes out a Walther from his warm trousers and goes to another world.

    It seems to me that Brodsky shows that it is not necessary to strive for what a person does not need to know, everything has a kind of limitation, and it is even possible that Brodsky himself, wholeheartedly not accepting the idyll of “superhumans”, attributed himself to them. The poem is a kind of utopia and at the same time a dystopia. A person builds his own destiny. He ruins his own life.

    Why is the poem called “Two Hours in the Tank”?.. Brodsky wrote it in Norenskaya in September 1965, while in exile. The reservoir is a kind of symbol of loneliness. It is in the reservoir that a person is overcome by some intelligent thoughts. Just as they may have defeated Brodsky. In Norenskaya, he was lonely for a long time, he missed his beloved MB, and later experienced a breakup, which she reported on her arrival to Joseph. He had time to think. It's time to understand and understand who a person is, what they carry, and what their role in society is.

    It is in this poem that the question of false sciences, the meaning of mysticism, and the peculiar fate of man is revealed.

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