Pavel Arsenev, poet, critic, and editor of the radical journal Translit, will be at the n+1 office on a rare visit to New York on April 29. Founded in St. Petersburg in 2005, Translit has become the major staging ground for Russian discussions of the intersection of art, literature, and politics. Its editors and contributors have played a leading role in reimagining the Russian political and artistic opposition. Arsenev will be speaking on Translit, contemporary Russia, and “literary positivism” from Soviet times to today. He will be joined by the physicist and philosopher Alexei Grinbaum, representative of Translit in France.
The event is co-presented with Cicada Press and will be in English. Please join us. Full description of talk below. Refreshments will be served.
The notion of fact regularly becomes a central problem in philosophical and scientific discussions oriented towards an objectivistic epistemology of language and positivistic methodology. However, for obvious reasons, this deeply anti-rhetorical “return to things-as-they-are,” stands little chance to be realized in literature. Both classical and romantic literatures were opposed to the idea of giving a direct and immediate account of facts, and emphasized the transformative properties of natural language and literary styles. However, analyzing the Literature of Fact (1927-29) manifestos (a Soviet avant-garde movement and a frequent topic of discussion on the pages of Translit), offers us an opportunity to conceptualize “literary positivism” not just as a local guide for the renovation of literary language, but as a radical theoretical program that implies a reality which speaks by itself and yet simultaneously demands literary methods.
Wednesday April 29, 7pm
n+1 HQ (68 Jay Street #405, Brooklyn, NY 11201)