While their writing always showed a consciousness of Russian literary classics, the poets of the avant-garde collective OBERIU began fashioning their works more explicitly according to Golden Age literary models in the decade after the group’s formal disbandment in 1930. In particular, Alexander Vvedensky frequently drew on the language and imagery of the nineteenth-century elegy in his works of this period, often including distorted citations from Pushkin’s poetry. This string of Pushkinian references culminates in a direct apostrophe to Alexander Sergeevich at the end of Vvedensky’s last surviving work, the prose-and-verse narrative “Where.When.” This article interprets the “elegiac turn” of Vvedensky’s latter years through a close reading of this final work; it argues that Vvedensky uses the figure of the “death of the poet” (embodied by Pushkin in “Where.When”) to reconfigure the traditional elegy in keeping with his own antihumanist aesthetics.


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pp. 141-158
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