Hieroglyphs of Another World: On Poetry, Swedenborg, and Other Matters

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The author of several volumes of poetry in Russian and English, Ilya Kutik is also a consummate essayist in the Russian tradition: aphoristic, allusive, deploying unlikely juxtapositions and poetic measures to arrive at surprising and gratifying insights. In this first English-language collection of Kutik's essays, readers encounter one of the best and most original contemporary Russian stylists.

As compact as prose poems, Kutik's essays contribute to ongoing efforts to build ...

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More About This Book

Overview

The author of several volumes of poetry in Russian and English, Ilya Kutik is also a consummate essayist in the Russian tradition: aphoristic, allusive, deploying unlikely juxtapositions and poetic measures to arrive at surprising and gratifying insights. In this first English-language collection of Kutik's essays, readers encounter one of the best and most original contemporary Russian stylists.

As compact as prose poems, Kutik's essays contribute to ongoing efforts to build contemporary theories of image, metaphor, meter, rhythm, and other key concepts of avant-garde and postmodern poetry that define contemporary poetics and critical theory. The essays provide formulas for decoding these complex aspects of contemporary literature; they reveal the poetry of scholarly prose, the metaphoric potential of the concepts and terms so commonly applied to poetry in a nonpoetic way.

The essays also introduce American readers to Scandinavian and Russian poets, such as Stagnelius and Aigi. His choice of poets highlights what he believes to be the major trends in poetic evolution in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The intersections of Russian and Swedish poetic traditions, as well as Kutik's own accomplishments as a translator of Scandinavian poetry, draw together the "national" elements of this book.

The final section, "Twelve Stories about Swedenborg," is both a continuation and a culmination of Kutik's project, in which the poetic elements discussed earlier in conceptual and historical terms reveal their mystical dimension. Here the life of Swedenborg, the great Swedish mystic, becomes a poetic narrative that exemplifies the laws of epic poetry articulated by Kutik in the book's previous essays.

About the Authors:
Ilya Kutik is an assistant professor of Russian literature oat Northwestern University and a poet, critic, and translator of Swedish literature into Russian.

Andew Wachtel is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures at Northwestern University. He is the author of Making a Nation, Breaking a Nation: Literature and Cultural Politics in Yugoslavia (Cultural Memory in the Present) and Petrushka: Sources and Contexts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810117778
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 148
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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