Dust, by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko – FEATURE ARTICLE
Dust, by Arkadii Dragomoshchenko (trans. Evgeny Pavlov, Thomas Epstein, Shushan Avagan, and Ana Lucic) Dalkey Archive Press, $13.50
by Malcolm Sutton
We must say something about Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, by way of introduction, because he is a giant mostly invisible to our continent. Dragomoshchenko, as a poet, essayist and novelist, was central to the St. Petersburg samizdat (clandestine self-publishing) of the ’70s and ’80s, and in the post-Soviet underground has continued to influence a younger generation of poets.[i] He has drawn the attention of major American poets and critics, and in 1993 half an issue of the scholarly journal Postmodern Culture was dedicated to an exploration of his work. It is easy to acquaint oneself with ‘facts’ of a literary figure via an online search, but I suggest reading all of Dragomoshchenko’s work, all that you can find, in order to gather something substantial of him. A good starting place is ‘Memory Gardens,’ [ii] a memorial piece he wrote for Robert Creeley. In English, Dragomoshchenko’s poems have been published in a number journals and anthologies, and in two books of poetry from Sun & Moon Classics, Description (1990) and Xenia (1994), both translated by Lyn Hejinian and Elena Balashova, and both unfortunately out-of-print. In 2005, Ugly Duckling Presse published his novel Chinese Sun, translated by Evgeny Pavlov.[iii] [more…]
This is the first in a series of feature reviews, author and publisher profiles commissioned from local luminaries and enthusiasts by This Ain’t The Rosedale Library. They will posted here on the website on a regular basis, and are found under Articles & Features in the side-bar. Check back regularly.