Alexander Vvedensky, translated by Eugene Ostashevsky
Eugene Ostashevsky is the editor and main translator of Alexander Vvedenskys An Invitation for Me to Think, as well as of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism. He is also the author of Enter Morris, Pursued by Ironies and other fine works of literature.
Alexander Vvedensky (1904-1941) was the cofounder, with Daniil Kharms, of OBERIU, an avant-garde group briefly active in 1920s Leningrad, USSR. Successful in his day job as childrens writer but unable to disseminate his real poetry under the Soviet regime, Vvedensky died in incarceration. He was first published in Russia in the 1990s. His linguistic experiments and directness in confronting existential issues are responsible for the tremendous influence he wields over Russian experimental writing and art today. Vvedenskys first selection of poetry in English, An Invitation for Me to Think, translated by Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich, has just been released by NYRB Poets.
Here is the execution scene from God May Be Around, a play-poem Alexander Vvedensky composed in 1931.