In a recent memoir Iurii Olesha, one of the most sophisticated Soviet prose writers, recalls a conversation he once had with V. E. Meyerhold regarding a film version of Turgenev's Fathers and Sons which the famous avant-garde director was then contemplating. “I asked him whom he had in mind for the part of Bazarov. He answered, ‘Mayakovsky'.“
The resemblance between one of modern Russia's foremost poets and Turgenev's harshly antipoetic hero may not be immediately obvious. Yet a close look at Mayakovsky's poetry, especially at his earlier, Futurist lyrics, reveals the presence of what might be called the Bazarov syndrome. The tenor of these Surrealist urban still-lives (“Night,“ “Morning,” “The Street,” etc.), these impassioned lyrical manifestoes (“I,” “Man,” “A Cloud in Trousers“), is total negation of the status quo.