When the Soviet Union fell apart at the start of the 1990s, it seemed to many that social transformation and aesthetic revolution were in full synchronicity. What was left of the stuffy orthodoxy of Soviet culture and its official style of socialist realism was swept away, and the unofficial art and writing that had been developing for years in the underground and in alternative social spaces burst into public view.
Note: Aleksandr Skidan was born in Leningrad in 1965. He worked from the late 1980s through the 1990s as a stoker in a boiler room while becoming known for his innovative poetry, critical writings, and translations of contemporary American poetry and important works of critical theory.
Aleksandr Skidan was born in Leningrad in 1965. He is a poet, critic, essayist, and translator. In 2008 his book Red Shifting was published in USA by Ugly Duckling Presse, tr. Genya Turovskaya. He is the coeditor of the New Literary Observer magazine and lives in Saint Petersburg.
Program One: Skidan reads from Red Shifting (Brooklyn: Ugly Ducking Press, 2008) in Russian as well as reading the English translations by Genya Turovskaya. MP3
Program Two: Skidan discusses his Ugly Duckling Press book, Red Shifting, the changes in the literary climate in Russia after 1989, the contemporary situation for poetry in Russia, and the mysticism of Arkadii Dragomoschenko. MP3