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Velimir Xlebnikov’s ‘Moskva, ty kto?’ and Andrei Platonov’s Happy Moscow: Identical Questions, with No Answers

Olga Meerson. "Velimir Xlebnikov’s ‘Moskva, ty kto?’ and Andrei Platonov’s Happy Moscow: Identical Questions, with No Answers." Andrei Platonov’s Oeuvre / Tvorchestvo Andreia Platonova (Intertexts), vol. 3. Ed. Elena Kolesnikova. St. Petersburg: Institute of Russian Literature, The Pushkin House / Pushkinskij dom, 2004: 205-213

In a short 1910 poem, Khlebnikov uses the trope of presenting Moscow as an unhappy, idealized, and treacherously unpredictable woman. In a somewhat lengthy novel, some twenty years later, Platonov gives the name of Moscow to a woman sharing the same traits as Khlebnikov's metaphoric woman-like Moscow -- reversing the same trope, thereby making all Khlebnikov's explicit characterizations implicit, and vice-versa. Khlebnikov seems to base his metaphor on a historical myth, while Platon ov unfolds Khlebnikov's metaphor back, into a full-fledged myth, about the Post-Revolutionary, Soviet Moscow personified. NB Although the publication was scheduled for 2004-5, the volume has reached Dr. Meerson only now, in 2008.

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