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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 6, Number 1 (January 2008) : 81--109
Velimir Khlebnikov in Hebrew

Nina Segal (Rudnik)
Rubric A: The Cultural Other



The article presents the history of translation of Velimir Khlebnikov’s poetry into Hebrew. Khlebnikov (1885--1922), one of the founders of Russian Futurism, was a trailblazer of new linguistic and philosophic vistas in poetry. His poems are singularly difficult and original in their highly involved idiom and construction, as well as the subject-matter which borrows from such diverse fields as history, mythology, mathematics, and biology. The translations of his poems into Hebrew, starting with those by Lea Goldberg, Avraham Shlyonsky, and Eliyahu Tesler in the pioneering 1942 collection “Shirat Rusiia” (The Poetry of Russia”) and ending with Aminadav Dykman’s in his magisterial anthology of Russian poetry “Dor Sheli -- Khaia Sheli: MiShirat Rusiia BaMea HaEsrim” (“My Generation, My Beast: Russian Poets of the Twentieth Century,” 2002), are characterized by ingenuity in rendering Khlebnikov’s “trans-sense” idiom while transposing his thoroughly Russian world-view into Hebrew realia. The article also discusses the Israeli reception of Khlebnikov as poet and philosopher, as reflected in Dan Avidan’s poetry and Mikhail Grobman’s paintings.

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