[Moscow, 1921]. 14,  pp. 17,5x11 cm (unfolded two leaves, each leaf 34,5x22,2 cm). Uncut and unbound as issued. Near fine. Previous owner’s ink stamp on p. 3, erased ink stamp and pen mark on the last page.
First edition. Very rare.
This is a collection of poems by representatives of avant-garde literary movement close to expressionism called fuism. Boris Pereleshin (18?-1938), Alexander Rakitnikov, Ippolit Sokolov (1902-1974) were in a small group of fuists which existed only for a couple of years from 1921 to 1923. Avant-garde of the 1920s went through many transformations and survived by efforts of many isolated art groups. Fuists (from the french for crazy, ‘fou’) whose poetry in Igor Vasil’ev’s words “displayed elements similar to Surrealism… their fragmented language and
confused articulation appeared as a pre-programmed method of reaching for new horizons of the poetic utterance”. Fuists made up a small, poorly organized group that set itself the task of enriching “the exhausted element of yesterday’s words and tomorrow’s words” with exotic images and rhythms: “And not to, but from exhausted Asian horizons with incinerated eyelashes and drunk lips.” The most consistent of them was Boris Pereleshin, the first book with the participation of which, as well as Tikhomirov and Nesmelova, “The Fourth Year”, appeared
in 1921 in Tomsk and was hardly noticed by critics or readers with a circulation of 550 copies. The further apprenticeship of B. Pereleshin among the Imaginists and poets of the “Centrifuge” was reflected in verses from the Moscow collection “A” (1921), in which A. Rakitnikov and I.Sokolov also participated. The thickening of physiological motifs (“from the abdomen an arrow through the body draws”, “rib barricade”, “intestinal swamp”) in Pereleshin approaches the “Killing of the flesh” by A. Rakitnikov and the “Apocalyptic Monster” by I. Sokolov. Sokolov contributed apocalyptic and macabre imagery. There is urbanism and the familiar desire to shock in these poems but there is also an appearance of Lenin, radio and “the victory of new forces”. Sokolov did not continue his association with fuists. One of the three original fuists, Boris Pereleshin, remained the fuist till the end and was later joined by Nikolai Lepok and Boris Nesmelov and they together published two more books. This seeming climax was actually the end of fuism.
Under the conditions of coexistence of dozens of poetic groups, the Fuists approached the Expressionists and Niches, engaging in controversy with the “departing ships of symbolism,” “Opozaz, or the brain drought society.” In the preface to the collection «Dialectics today» Boris Pereleshin wrote that the NEP «ate poets»: «Not a bit on Russian pop sites, crushed by / hooves of various imagistists. / Stone desert of achievement.»
The fuists were a transitional group leading to centrifugist expressionism. (California Slavic Studies, Vol.6, 1971)
Rozanov. #4682, Turchinsky. P.420.
WorldCat locates original paper copies at NYPL, Getty Research Institute, Harvard, Yale, University of California.