Vox Tablet

The Afterlife of a Russian Bard

The influence of Vladimir Vysotsky, who would have been 75 this week, reaches far beyond his homeland

January 28, 2013
Vladimir Vysotsky.(Irina/Flickr)

Vladimir Vysotsky.(Irina/Flickr)

Vladimir Vysotsky, Russia’s beloved balladeer, would have turned 75 this week. Though he died more than three decades ago, at the age of 42, he is still revered as a singer and poet who captured the mood, and the soul, of a dejected generation. But while Vysotsky’s music and persona clearly spoke to a particular time and place (the USSR in the post-Stalinist “Thaw” era), his songs have been adopted by social movements all over the world, including, most recently, Israel’s tent protesters during the summer of 2011.

Today, on Vox Tablet, Liel Leibovitz looks at the too-short life, and enduring afterlife, of this remarkable man and considers what it is that makes his ballads so resonant for so many. [Running time: 10:11.]

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Vox Tablet is Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast, hosted by Sara Ivry and produced by Julie Subrin. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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