Download Velimir Khlebnikov: A Critical Study by Raymond Cooke PDF

By Raymond Cooke

Khlebnikov is now famous as a huge Russian poet of the 20th century, having for years been pushed aside as an unintelligible verbal trickster. Cooke presents the 1st huge learn in English of Khlebnikov's writings. The e-book is either informative and interpretative, and maps the contours of Khlebnikov's nonetheless mostly uncharted poetic global. This exploration highlights the advanced dating among the poet and his public, examines Khlebnikov's preoccupations with the which means of language and pictures of battle and clash, and cites the transformation of a poet-warrior into the poet-prophet. Cooke additionally discusses the vexing query of Khlebnikov's angle towards manuscripts and booklet techniques.

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Extra resources for Velimir Khlebnikov: A Critical Study

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Does not the nature of the song lie in a from oneself, from one's everyday axis? . Inspiration has always the origins of the singer. Mediaeval knights sing of primitive shepherds, Lord Byron - of pirates, and that son of a tsar Buddha . . glorifies poverty. Looking at it another way, Shakespeare, who was tried for theft, speaks in the language of kings, as does that son of a modest townsman Goethe, and their creative work is devoted to court life . . Creative work, understood as the greatest declination of the string of thought from the life axis of the one who creates and as a flight from oneself, forces one to think that the songs of the workbench too will be created not by those who do the work, but by those who are outside the factory walls.

A characteristic example can be seen in the 'War in a Mousetrap' ('Voyna v myshelovke') cycle of poems, where Khlebnikov's poetic I is portrayed as carrying the whole of the earth on a ring on the little finger of his right hand (SP 11 256-7). There is a tendency for the Khlebnikovian poetic hero to aspire to or to assume godhead. Khlebnikov's exhortatory poem 'Liberty for All' even considers bestowing freedom upon the gods: 'And if the gods are in chains, we shall give liberty to them too' (SP m 150).

This sketch tells of a 'black darkness', in which 'plain sticky beings, indistinguishable from the earth', live out their 'insignificant, tedious, quiet lives'. However, Khlebnikov writes: . . in the same darkness there was one firefly, and he thought: 'what is better: to crawl around for a long time in the dark and in an unheard life, or to burn just once in a white flame, toflylike a white spark, to sing in a white song of another life, not of black gloom, but of the play and the streams of white light'.

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