SPEAKER: Aurelia Cojocaru
Department of Comparative Literature
University of California, Berkeley
Title: Beyond Reason and Unreason: Khlebnikov’s Poetics of Zaum
Russian Futurist poets coined the term Zaum to describe their bold experimentation with the sound and grammar of the Russian language. A neologism composed of za- (beyond) and -um (mind, intellect), Zaum has long been seen as a radical departure from everyday language and even rationality. This talk argues, however, that the work of Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922) refuses any such dichotomy between poetry and reason. The root -um recurs in other neologisms throughout Khlebnikov’s oeuvre to reveal instead an expansive range of kinds and shades of “mind.” Giving voice to neglected forms of cognition promises a distinct and surprising method of individualization: poetic language allows each subject not only to manifest their own particular claim to rationality, but also for all of these shades of the rational “spectrum” to meet. Poetry becomes a transformative meeting of minds in this utopian project—a “With-um of myself / And those whom I have yet to know.”
ZOOM INFO: Topic: CCI Meeting’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 07:45 PM Istanbul
***This is an online event. To obtain Zoom link and password, please contact to the department.