20th century Avant Garde Russian Literature in Translation
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A collection of unusual, bizarre, satirical and absurdist Russian literature of the twentieth century in English translations.
Words in Revolution includes Futurist manifestoes inspired by the Gileya group, the Ego-Futurists, and Tsentrifuga. This collection contains translations of the manifestoes by Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov, Kruchenykh, Burliuk, Shershenevich, and Pasternak from 1912-1928. The Russian Futurist movement expanded on the tenets of Filippo Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto.
One of the more distinctive excursions of the Russian Futurist movement was Zaum or transrational language, similar to Dadaism. The linguistic experimentation by poets Khlebnikov and Kruchenykh is well-represented by the Futurist Opera Victory over the Sun, a collaboration with artist Kazimir Malevich and composer Mikhail Matyushin.
OBERIU (Объединение реального искусства / the Union of Real Art) was a later group of Russian Futurist writers active in the 1920s and 1930s founded by Kharms and Vvedensky. OBERIU were well known for "literary hooliganism", circus-like stunts and theatrical presentations in unusual locations. Some of their literature is available in the OBERIU anthology and Russia's Lost Literature Of The Absurd: Selected Works Of Daniil Kharms And Alexander Vvedensky.
Moscow to the End of the Line is a semi-autobiographical postmodernist prose poem by Venedikt Erofeev detailing an alcoholic intellectual's suburban train trip which originally circulated in samizdat. It is best taken in with copious amounts of alcohol and alcohol.
Yuri Olesha's Envy is a sublimely weird novel which explores the relationship between two unlikely frenemies: Babichev, exemplifying pure Soviet values, and Kavalerov, a self-destructive disaster of a man.