Arkadii Dragomoshchenko and Alternative Paths in Contemporary Russian Poetry

A special forum on “Arkadii Dragomoshchenko and Alternative Paths in Contemporary Russian Poetry,” edited by Evgeny Pavlov, has just been published in the latest issue of the Slavic and East European Journal. It is wonderful to see this renewed attention to Dragomoshchenko, who is (in my view) one of Russia’s most important contemporary poets but who hasn’t to date received the attention his work deserves. (Stephanie Sandler’s wonderful essay in Contemporary Literature is one of the few exceptions to this rule. For those who read Russian, Mikhail Iampolski’s essay on Dragomoshchenko’s “poetics of touch” is likewise an insightful introduction to his work.) The forum includes excellent essays from Pavlov, Anna Glazova, and Dennis Ioffe.

I also have an essay in the forum. My essay (available for download here) focuses on Dragomoshchenko’s correspondences. These correspondences include both his 1,000 page correspondence with Lyn Hejinian and his development of the modernist complication—as exemplified by Baudelaire’s “Correspondances”—of romanticism’s stress on correspondence between language and the world. Interestingly, as I explore in the essay, this double meaning of “correspondence” does not work in Russian, which has two distinct terms: perepiska and sootvetstvie. A revised and expanded version of my essay forms a chapter of A Common Strangeness.

About Jacob Edmond

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, 2019), A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012), and of numerous essays, which have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, Slavic Review, and The China Quarterly.
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