I should read this book. I really should read this. God, give me more time!
Mayakovsky: A Biography, Bengt Jangfeldt, translated from the Swedish by Harry D. Watson, University of Chicago Press, pp. 601, ISBN: 9780226056975
"Jangfeldt suggests several possible reasons for Mayakovsky’s suicide: personal turmoil, the establishment’s increasingly hostile attitude, the failure of his play, problems with his vocal cords, the drifting away of his audience Another explanation, less explicit but crucial, is his inevitable disillusion with the new order, a system he could no longer identify with. ‘The word is the C-in-C of human powers,’ was Mayakovsky’s motto. For a poet who put absolute trust in language, the Soviet doublespeak that emerged a decade after the revolution must have been unbearable. ‘Freedom’, a word that rang so true in 1917, was rapidly losing its meaning under bureaucratic collectivism, a more precise term for ‘socialism’. As he watched the language of the future being reduced to hollow slogans, Mayakovsky was bound to see his own position as a dead end." --Anna Aslanyan, in The Spectator