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One of Russia's greatest poets, Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was a Futurist, early Bolshevik, and champion of the avant-garde. Despite his revolutionary youth, he became increasingly disillusioned with Soviet society, and three of his plays--all banned until after Stalin's death--reflect his changing assessments of the Revolution. "Mayakovsky: Plays "includes "Mystery Bouffe, "a mock medieval mystery written in 1918 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Revolution; "The Bathhouse, "a sharp attack on Soviet bureaucracy subtitled "a drama of circus and fireworks"; and "The Bedbug, " in which a worker with bourgeois pretensions is frozen and resurrected fifty years later, when the world has become a material paradise. The collection also includes Mayakovsky's more personal first play, "Vladimir Mayakovsky: A Tragedy."

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