For the TV character, see Mischa Mayakovsky.

Professor Mayakovsky is a powerful magician who was reassigned to Brakebills South.


It is rumored that Mayakovsky taught at the main Brakebills campus until he had a relationship with a female student. After he ended the relationship, she attempted to gain his attention by casting a spell on herself to make herself more beautiful. The spell did not work and caused her to look disfigured. The boy she was seeing, Alice Quinn's brother Charlie Quinn, attempted to restore her but lost control of the magic and became a Niffin. Mayakovsky was able to restore her form, and was given the choice to either retire in disgrace or transfer to Brakebills South.



Mayakovsky is a grumpy, often angry and secluded person. The way he taught and pushed the fourth years to their limits could easily border on abuse. Even though he was a very mean person every time he appeared in the books that can be explained by his exile and loneliness, he sometimes showed warmth towards Quentin and helped him when he needed it. Although these moments were rare, Quentin was grateful for him after he returned to Brakebills South with Plum and received the three golden coins from him.

Magic and Abilities

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Basic Magical Abilities

Spell Casting - The ability to use magic and cast spells through complex somatic movements.

Personal Abilities

Mayakovsky is a very powerful magician. It's also hinted that he is one of the strongest magicians of the time period, but no one knows about his skills and inventions because he made them in his exile in Brakebills South and never showed them to anyone. He is certainly the strongest magician we meet in the whole story.

In The Magician's Land it's revealed that he created many wonders and recreated treasures from fairy tales. Some of these, contained in his "Museum of Mayakovsky", are:

  • A Perpetual Motion Machine
  • A pair of Seven Thousand League Boots
  • One drop of Universal Solvent, suspended in the air via magic
  • Magic Beans
  • A pen that writes only truth
  • A Mouse that aged backward
  • A Goose that lays eggs of gold, silver, platinum, and iridium
  • A way to spin straw into gold, and that gold into lead
  • A player piano that improvised according to the listener's mood, optimizing itself until it was the "sound of everything you ever wanted to hear". Quentin had to make Mayakovsky turn it off before he broke into tears.

He also managed to store huge amounts of energy in 3 golden coins that contained enough magical power to potentially break an Incorporate Bond, and create a small, though decent, Magical Land and with the proper spell, restore a Niffin into its human form.

It is also rumored that he helped in the war against the Old Gods in the Neitherlands, riding on the back of the great white dragon of Lake Vostok, and shattered the bell jar keeping the weather out with "thunder and lightning from his own hands".