Friday, September 22, 2006

Eugene Ostashevsky has put out a fascinating anthology: Obeiru, an Anthology of Russian Absurdism. Obeiru was a Russian avant-garde movement from the 1930s, a movement that was quickly suppressed so little has been written about this group. There are plays, poetry, prose. Few of my favorites: Gluttony, A Ballad, and Zeros, which I will excerpt below:


The sight of a notebook is pleasant
There a powerful zero is present,
And another, but smaller and crippled,
Like a lemon lies nearby, rippled.

My dear, my dear zeros,
I loved you and I love you still.
Be quick, melancholics! Hurry, depressives!
Rub a zreo and all will be well.

These circles are wonderfully curative,
Each one worth a doctor or nurse:
With them, the patient thinks positive,
Withou them, he cries for a hearse--or worse!

When I go, do not crown my tombstone
With an expensive, impractical wreath.
Rather lay with your trembling fingers
A zero upon the heath.


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