April 17: Andrei Levkin on the Poetics of Russian Prose

On April 17, 2012, the Russian writer Andrei LevkinAndrei Levkin poster will give a talk titled “The Poetics of Russian Prose,” with responses by Northwestern’s own Ilya Kutik and Reginald Gibbons. This event will take place from 12:30 – 2:00 P.M. in the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Seminar Room (Kresge 2-360).

Andrei Levkin (who will be visiting from Moscow) is a writer of “poetic prose” related in style and stance to the contemporary Russian poetic school known as “metarealism.” The latter is centered on a particular mode of thought ‐‐ unfamiliar in English‐language poetry and prose ‐‐ that is highly metaphorical, often apophatic, and fast‐moving. Metarealism began in the 1980s (Ilya Kutik was a founder and remains one of the primary figures) and has produced a number of very widely known and highly honored poets, including Alexander Eremenko, Aleksandr Chernov, Elena Schwarts, Olga Sedakova, the late Alexei Parshchikov. It is also poetically affiliated in spirit and approach with such predecessors as Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Osip Mandelshtam, as well as more recent luminaries like Bella Akhmadulina, Victor Krivulin, and Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (translated in the US by Lyn Hejinian). Kutik and Gibbons are working on an anthology of translations and commentary that will present the poetics of metarealism to American readers; the only prose writer in this anthology is Andrei Levkin.

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