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OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism
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OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  4 reviews
It was a movement so artfully anarchic, and so quickly suppressed, that readers only began to discover its strange and singular brilliance three decades after it was extinguished-and then only in samizdat and émigré publications. Some called it the last of the Russian avant-garde, and others called it the first (and last) instance of Absurdism in Russia; however difficult ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published August 14th 2006 by Northwestern University Press
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Because the Oberiu poets enjoyed using strict rhyme the way Oulipo writers dug theoretical procedures and constraints, it's difficult to speak about some of the poetry in this collection - who knows how much the translators fudged to work around slant rhymes and sound approximations? The poetry of Zabolotsky, especially, seems to suffer through translation, but what the hell do I know as a non Russian speaker? That being said, no amount of translation issues can stop the poetry of Alexander Vved ...more
Call me old-fashioned, call me a philistine, but I believe that a writer’s first duty is to be intelligible or, failing that, to be unintelligible in an interesting way. I’m not arguing for simplicity: Finnegans Wake is plenty intelligible as long as you’ve done some post-graduate work in modernist literature and know six or seven European languages. I’m arguing for a quota of coherence. By that measure, OBERIU is a failure. I’m sure that, in the original Russian, the poetry of the Soviet Absurd ...more
these writers are a major revelation for me. Right place and right time. excellent introduction by the editor too.
"We’re mere infants when it comes to science.
But we do love the inch."
So much great writing in here.
Jason Rolfe
A brilliant anthology. Ostashevsky should be thanked profusely for putting this together for we otherwise deprived western readers!
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