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During the 1950s and 1960s, Mayakovsky Square in Moscow played an important role as a gathering place for unofficial poetry readings, and subsequently for expressing cultural and political dissent in the post-Stalin era.

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  • Mayakovsky Square poetry readings
  • Маяковские чтения
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  • During the 1950s and 1960s, Mayakovsky Square in Moscow played an important role as a gathering place for unofficial poetry readings, and subsequently for expressing cultural and political dissent in the post-Stalin era.
  • Маяковские чтения — традиционные поэтические вечера у памятника Владимиру Владимировичу Маяковскому, которые проходят каждое последнее воскресение месяца.
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  • During the 1950s and 1960s, Mayakovsky Square in Moscow played an important role as a gathering place for unofficial poetry readings, and subsequently for expressing cultural and political dissent in the post-Stalin era.
  • Маяковские чтения — традиционные поэтические вечера у памятника Владимиру Владимировичу Маяковскому, которые проходят каждое последнее воскресение месяца.
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  • The atmosphere was tense in the extreme and plainclothesmen were ready to pounce at any moment. At last, when [Anatoly] Shchukin started reading, they let out a howl and made a dash through the crowd in the direction of the statue... A gigantic fist-fight broke out. Many people had no idea who was fighting whom and joined in just for the fun of it... The police were generally unpopular anyhow and on this occasion I feared that the crowd would overturn the police car and kick it to pieces. But somehow or other the police succeeded in bundling Shchukin and Osipov into a car and extricated it from the crowd. Shchukin got fifteen days “for reading anti-Soviet verses” and Osipov ten days “for disturbing the peace and using obscene language”... This episode alone indicates what an extraordinary time it was.
  • Выйду на площадь и городу в ухо Втисну отчаянья крик! ... Это - я, призывающий к правде и бунту, не желающий больше служить, рву ваши черные путы, сотканные из лжи! I'll go out on the Square and into the city's ear I'll hammer a cry of despair! ... This is me calling to truth and revolt willing no more to serve I break your black tethers woven of lies!
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  • Manifesto of Man by Yuri Galanskov, 1960
  • Vladimir Bukovsky on the 1961 Mayakovsky commemoration
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