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Alexander Vvedensky: An Invitation for Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky
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Alexander Vvedensky: An Invitation for Me to Think

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Alexander Vvedensky: An Invitation for Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky
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Apr 02, 2013 | ISBN 9781590176306

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“…it’s high time that more readers pick up on [Vvedensky’s] work to break language, to crush understanding so that what is beneath and beyond it can smuggle its miracle into our event-hemorrhaging lives.” —Asymptote Journal

“Unlike the Symbolists, his aim is neither to create an aesthetic paradise nor to suggest or build a bridge to another world—Vvedensky’s is an aesthetics of martyred aesthetics, of not knowing, of the defeat of ‘poetry’ in the service of truth…. His poetic sensibility combines the Russian Symbolist concern for transcendence, God, and ‘other worlds,’ with the Futurist orientation toward syntactical and semantic deformations that draw attention to the artifices of language.” — Thomas Epstein, The New Arcadia Review
Praise for OBERiU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism, edited by Eugene Ostashevsky:

“Vvedensky’s poems sear…. Ruminations on faith and loss abound, but there are few
more churning, lacerating and willfully beautiful works in Eastern literature than
the prose poem “Frother,” in which three sons hover and cavort around their dying
father, trying to ascertain the meaning of a mysterious word and a mysterious truth.”—The Nation

[OBERIU] mounted a challenge in the late 1920s and 30s to ‘worldly logic’ by questioning and confusing the most basic categories through which the world may be rendered coherent and transformed into narrative. They did so by writing subversive poems and stories, while ‘trusting in neither thoughts nor words’ (Alexander Vvedensky). They practised a kind of silence through words, wearing various comic masks while pointing to inexpressible realities.” —The Times Literary Supplement

“The work of Oberiu is as relevant to our moment as when it was written.” —The Believer

“It’s about time . . . the Oberiu . . . became a household name like the Surrealists, Dadaists and all the rest.” —The Brooklyn Rail

“Oberiu is as relevant today as ever.” —Bookforum

“For anyone intersted in Soviet literature, this book fills an enormous gap. It also presents some beautiful, heartbreaking poetry.” —PW Annex

“Highly recommended. All readers, all levels.” —CHOICE

Praise for Vvedensky’s The Gray Notebook, published by Ugly Duckling Presse:
“These poems do what solid poems should.  They stand against time.”  — Peter Moysaenko, bomblog

General praise regarding the movement Vvedensky started (OBERIU):
“The OBERIU writers are a revelation, an aspect of Russian modernism in the early Soviet period that has been largely invisible to readers in English.”  —Robert Hass
“OBERIU, sometimes called Russia’s last avant-garde, is one of the most intriguing–and little known–movements of the years before World War II. The absurdist poets at its center—Alexander Vvedensky, Daniil Kharms, and Nikolai Zabolotsky—belonged to the first generation of writers to come of age after the October Revolution . . .  Less interested in coining neologisms than in destroying the protocols of semantic coherence and linguistic realism, these poets have produced a series of inventive, free-wheeling, and often hilarious poetic texts in a variety of forms and genres.” —Marjorie Perloff

“Skirting oblivion, impossibly present, Vvedensky now even exists in English where he rubs shoulders with contemporaries he never knew, echoing the metaphysical side of Laura Riding, the phenomenological bent of Gertrude Stein, and the grammatical play and befuddling repetition of both.” —Matvei Yankelvich, Poetry Daily

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