Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Judith E. Kalb


The goal of this thesis is twofold: first, to examine the two major themes that permeate Joseph Brodsky’s works, time and space, and see how the poet employs various theoretical approaches to the topics and synthesizes them in order to deliver his unique view on both. Second, based on the examination of time and space, this study defines and distinguishes in relation to the chronotope two sorts of nonexistence – nebytie – heavily present in Brodsky’s later works. This project demonstrates that one kind of nebytie is defined through spatial references and primarily addresses one’s location in space or one’s inability to be in the desired place; this sort of nonexistence is identified as nebytie. The other nebytie in Brodsky’s works is related to temporality and is connected to one’s confinement in time; this is what we are going to call post-bytie. Therefore, Brodsky’s understanding of time and space is crucial, for his poetic concepts reveal their significance outside of the chronotope: they convey the poet’s views on exile, death, and immortality.