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Velemir Chlebnikov

Velimir Khlebnikov (1885 - 1922), whose civil name was Victor Vladimirovich Khlebnikov, is considered one of the most influential Russian poets, prose writers and dramatists. The counted among the circle of Russian Futurists, was part of the Futurist group Gileas, and co-edited the Futurist manifesto An Orfeige to General Taste (Russian: Пощечина общественному вкусу).

Khlebnikov studied mathematics, natural sciences, Sanskrit and Slavic studies in Kazan and St. Petersburg, turned to poetry and philosophy, and published his first poems in 1908. He often changed his place of residence and lived an unsteady life marked by his art and intellectual work. He published numerous writings, manifestos, poems and essays, in part together with other Futurist artists and philosophers, entered into many collaborations and dissolved them again, always with the aim of developing and publishing writings.

Inspired by Slavic mythology, among other things, Khlebnikov took an experimental and avant-garde approach to the Russian language. He wrote poetry in a transgressive and novel way, coined new words and expressions for it and, together with Alexei Krutschonych and other futurists, created the art language Zaum, which was to be used as a universal language throughout the world and beyond. Khlebnikov is considered to be an extraordinary personality who aroused both admiration and dislike among his peers. He developed far-reaching theories and philosophical-scientific approaches to the European intellectual world, social and political life, through which he succeeded in forecasting major political-social events such as the Second World War and the end of colonialism in Africa. He died in 1922 after a short illness in the village of Santalovo.


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