Chuvash-born poet Gennady Aygi (1934-2006) is considered the father of late-Soviet avant-garde Russian poetry. This first full-length critical study of his work and poetics in any language brings a new voice into the critical conversation of twentieth-century poetry of witness. It charts the development of Aygi's poetics from his Mayakovsky-inspired verses as a student under the tutelage of Boris Pasternak, to those of a full-fledged poet's poet, drawing equally on the Russian poetic and religious tradition, European literature and philosophy, and Chuvash literature, folk culture, and cosmology. Writing from 1955 until his death in 2006, Aygi bridges the Soviet and post-Soviet, lyrical and avant-garde, personal and political. The transcultural roots and global reach of his work bring together Chuvash, Russian, European, and Volga Tatar languages and traditions to form a truly unique transnational poetics and a model for a new category of Russophone literature.
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