Velimir Khlebnikov (2120 words)


Alongside Mayakovsky, Khlebnikov (1885-1922) is the most important of the Russian Futurists. In much of his work, he experiments with language, inventing neologisms and finding significance in the shapes and sounds of individual letters. He treats a wide range of themes: war, revolution and famine; the changing seasons; Slavic mythology; a utopian future where all human knowledge can be disseminated by radio and people live in mobile glass cubicles that can attach themselves to skyscraper-like frameworks. He clung passionately to the belief that a mathematical understanding of what he called the laws of time could allow humanity to predict the future – and so gain the power to shape it. In his long poem “Voina v myshelovke” [“…

Citation: Chandler, Robert. "Velimir Khlebnikov". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 February 2014 [, accessed 18 June 2021.]

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