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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Das poetische Subjekt von Sergej Birjukov als Akteur der „metahistorischen Avantgarde"

P. 167-181.

А poet, philologist, theorist and propagandist of the poetical avant-garde, a founder of The Academy of Zaum – in that manner Sergey Biryukov is usually introduced. There are no exact boundaries between these author statuses: in the poetical practice, Biryukov often acts as a critic, researcher and popularizer of the experimental poetry - and in critical or even literary activity, he can fall back on the expressive discourse by concluding his speeches with reading his own poems.

Certainly, Sergey Biryukov is not the only one now who combines poetical with critical, research, publishing and educational practice. However, his case is worth mentioning as a separate point because of the authorial “ahistorical avant-garde” conception, which succeeds to the “historical avant-garde” idea of I. Smirnov and R. Dering-Smirnova and evolves it as well.  The "ahistorical avant-garde" for Biryukov embraces almost the whole literature experiment field of the latter half of the 20th and the early 21st century. Moreover, this concept is essentially an oxymoron. It abolishes the idea of the progressive growth of art, which historical avant-garde problematizes, though, but does not remove specifying itself, at least, as «art vanguard».

The avant-garde "spacellation" (transformation of time into space) gets patterns some kind of "museumification" in the "ahistorical avant-garde", which implies a perception the entire avant-garde heritage as a museum or an art gallery, consisting of interconnected showrooms range. Sergey Biryukov, as a researcher and publisher, fills these spaces with the legacy of avant-gardists and “proto-avant-gardists”; as a critic and organizer of literary life - with works of his contemporaries; and as an experimental poet – with his own poetical practices. It is small wonder that chapters of scientific and non-fiction books of the poet are followed with small texts anthologies of avant-garde and neo - (post-) avant-garde authors. Poetical works of Sergey Biryukov also take the place among them. However, his poetic books are of the poetological nature, at the same time. They signify the context of the “ahistorical avant-garde” through the complex system of dedications, poetic reflections and intertextual references. The figure of the Russian futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov take a center stage in the system.

In this regard, Sergey Biryukov’s poetical subject itself is of particular interest with his “flexible” self-identity. On the one hand, we can find auto-reflective texts (strictly “lyrical”, elegiac-meditative as well and even romance-erotic as well) in his writing. In other words, here we lay emphasis on traditional texts, despite its experiment form. On the other hand, “poetological” texts and “manifest” texts (where a subject is a “poet”, an “experimental poet and a research poet) make a significant part of poetical poet corpus. Therefore, Biryukov’s “poetical subject” generates, generalizes, synthesizes and comments the whole avant-garde legacy at his creative practice level.

In book

Vol. 8.2: Band 2: Schwellenzeit – Gattungstransitionen – Grenzerfahrungen. Sergej Birjukov zum 70. Geburtstag. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2020.