The Fatigue of Culture and Fatigue from Culture in Joseph Brodsky’s Poetry




20th-century Russian poetry, Joseph Brodsky, artistic consciousness, existential fatigue, spiritual and psychological fatigue


This paper explores the poetry of Joseph Brodsky. One of the spiritual, semantic, and psychological dominants of the artistic consciousness and poetic work of the Nobel laureate acts as the subject of the analysis, and this aspect has not been considered either specifically or comprehensively so far. The author focuses on a typological, spiritual, and mental condition for Brodsky’s artistic consciousness that permeates all of his work, i. e. fatigue. And it is a peculiar kind of fatigue – culturogenic fatigue – which acts, on the one hand, as fatigue of culture itself, its spiritual content, and psychological forms. On the other hand, it is people’s fatigue from this weary culture and its phenomena. Through the analysis of Brodsky’s poems of different periods, the article shows and interprets the main aspects of fatigue expressed in his poetry: fatigue as a property of world attitude, including the perception of nature, space, and time; as an underlying feature of existence (existences); as a dominant psychological mindset/type of personality; as a spiritual and psychological characteristic of the creative process and attitude to creative work, its language and meaning, its works and their recipients. In conclusion, the author states that in Brodsky’s artistic work, the tiredness of art and its cultural foundations paradoxically go hand in hand with his devotion to art and will to create, his ability to find spiritual strength in it and its language.

Author Biography

Lev Zaks

Dr. Hab. (Philosophy), Professor, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin; Rector, University for the Humanities.

19, Mira Str., 620002, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

19, Studencheskaya Str., 620049, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0003-1219-3404


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How to Cite

Zaks, L. (2023). The Fatigue of Culture and Fatigue from Culture in Joseph Brodsky’s Poetry. Quaestio Rossica, 11(1), 135–155.



Problema voluminis