Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not Just Pretty Words

Image courtesy of Gvideon

I have known for a while about Konstantin Gadaev’s film that shows Sergey Gandlevsky and Timur Kibirov discussing poetry as they drink tea on a Russian train, but only today did I finally get around to watching it. Midway through the half-hour film, Kibirov offers this definition of literature (and by implication, of poetry in particular), which I find compelling:

“В армии я понял, что - может, потому, что впервые на самом деле столкнулся по-настоящему с реальностью ... Я вдруг понял, что вот тот любимый мной ... ‘дискурс’, [то есть,] язык серебряного века, что он не может эту реальность описать. Я впервые понял, что такое ‘литература’, что это - не просто красивые слова, а нечто встреча реальности с индивидуальным языком.” - Тимур Кибиров
“In the army I understood – maybe because that was the first time I had really run into reality … I suddenly understood that … the very ‘discourse’ that I loved, [that is to say,] the language of the Silver Age – that it could not describe that reality. For the first time I understood what ‘literature’ was, that it wasn’t just pretty words, but some kind of meeting of reality with an individual’s language.” – Timur Kibirov

The film features Kibirov reading several of his poems, while Gandlevsky acts as interviewer, asking questions on art and politics that prompt Kibirov to reflect on decades of his poetic experience.

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