[Journal] Transponans

[Journal] Transponans





January 1987


Anna Taršis (Ry Nikonova), Sergej Sigov (Sergej Sigej). In no. 1 of 1979 the name Nikolaj Sissi appears as editor in chief (it is probably a pseudonym).


36. There is currently no information on no. 15. To date, nos. 9 and 10 are not available. Nos. 16 and 17 contain only the contents index.


The journal was founded in Ejsk (near the shores of the Azov Sea) by Anna Taršis (pseudonym Ry Nikonova) and Sergej Sigov (pseudonym Sergej Sigej) in 1979. The first year “Transponans” was published quarterly, and subsequently every four months until 1982. Starting from no. 14 of 1983 to no. 35 of 1986 the journal was published every two months. The last issue was launched in January 1987.

In some of the first dossiers the periodical bore the subtitle «žurnal teorii i praktiki» (theoretical and practical journal, no. 1 of 1979, no. 8 of 1981) which turned into «žurnal teorii i praktiki diletantizma» (journal of theory and practice of amateurism, from No. 2 of 1979 to No. 11 of 1982, except for No. 3 of 1979 which did not include any subtitle similar to the numbers issued from no. 12 to no. 36 of 1987). In nos. 32-33 the subtitle indicated on the cover was “avangardnaja poėzija, akcionnoe iskusstvo, teorija, praktika i polemika” (avant-garde poetry, art of action, theory, practice and controversy). The format varied over the years: nos. 1-10 came out in half a typewriter sheet; from nos. 11-36 had a square format.

The journal represented the platform on which the neo-avant-garde of Ejsk, Moscow and Leningrad, where Sigov had studied, was measured and exchanged information, attentive to the poetic heritage of the ’10s and ’30s and eager for new forms of artistic experimentation. As was expressed in no. 1 (1979) and in nos. 19 (1983), 20 (1983), 21, 22, 23 (1984), the purpose of the periodical was, in fact, to create a bridge with the historical avant-garde in light of the evolution of Russian poetry from Puškin to that of the 1950s, reviving the style and forms of poetry and art (see in particular the opening article by Sigov О «zadačach» Transpoėzii, On the «tasks» of Transpoesia, dated March 1979 and published in no. 1 1979).

The journal paid particular attention to work in verse and published poems of the avant-garde of the ’10s and ’30s (Aleksej Kručënych, Vasilij Gnedov, Igor ‘Bachterev, Jurij Marr), but above all of the neo-avant-garde represented by Sigov, Taršis, Evgenij Aberev, Boris Kudrjakov, A. Nik, Vladimir Ėrl’, Aleksandr Galamaga, Valerij D’jačenko, Dmitrij Prigov, Genrich Sapgir, Leon Bogdanov, Konstantin Zvezdočetov, L. Vojcechov, Gleb Cvel’, and Anna Al’čuk. The contribution of Nikolaj Chardžiev, from whose personal archive most of the verses came, was fundamental for the publication of texts from the ’10s.

Although to a lesser extent, the journal also published short prose sketches such as the texts by Boris Konstriktor and Taršis itself. A prominent place was occupied by theoretical articles on questions of a formal nature such as rhyme, sounds, and suffixes, often with the function of a manifesto (authored mainly by Ry Nikonova and Evgenij Arbenev), as well as reflections on the meaning of literature, introductory notes to the poets presented (curated by Tat’jana Nikol’skaja), contributions on poets and prose writers such as Konstantin Vaginov and Andrej Platonov and the more contemporary Lev Rubinštejn and Dmitry Prigov.

Similarly to the experience of the Chlebnikov group (Chlebnikov was indeed often recalled in the published contributions), the journal intended to pursue the union between art and literature, image and word, but also between sound and word, in a continuous search for perfection that he recognized in poetry over prose (The manifesto of Teoprakt points, written by Taršis in 1977, but published in no. 1 of 1979 was emblematic. “Teorija i praktika sovremennoj literatury: osnovnye položenija” [Theoretical Practice. Theory and practice of contemporary literature]).

In the 1984 and 1985 issues, graphic experimentation with hand-made collages of letters and words taken from newspaper clippings, photographs, negatives and handwritten notes produced true works of art in an original Russian pop-art style. In the same period the editors played on the morphology of the title of the journal and on its various phonetic and semantic results: “Trans-tors-trap-trassa […] rot-rost-rant-rasa […] nora-napor-nasos-note [ …] strana-spor-sport-spora […] port-part-pasta-post […] osa-ospa-optor […]”.

Over the years, the presence of images on the title page and on the front pages increased to occupy the entire space of the journal, as happened in the last issue (36) of 1987 in which the verbal element was almost absent. The images belonged mainly to the pen of Anna Taršis, Aleksandr Galamaga and Sergej Sigej, but also included works by I.V. Bachterev and illustrations by Evgenij Aberev.

The first numbers favored a simple list of collected materials. Starting from no. 4 of 1979 the section “Chronika” (Chronicle, then “V chronike”, In the chronicle) appeared from time to time, aimed at giving information on cultural events, and only in some files, starting from no. 26 of 1985 (January-February), the journal was divided into sections such as «Sočinenija» (Works, also present with the title of «V praktike», In practice, «V teorii i praktike», In theory and in practice, «Praktika», Practice, «Proizvedenija», Works, «Publikacii», «V publikacijach», Publications, «V perevodach», «Perevody», Translations), in which poems and essays that were critical of avant-garde and neo-avant-garde poets appeared, but also translations (for example, of Samuel Beckett, Antonin Artaud, Kurt Schwitters, and also those of the visual poet Michele Perfetti), «Kritika» («Criticism») with a contribution signed by Taršis on the volume Vavilonskaja bašnja (The Tower of Babel) by Kuz’minskij, and “Bibliografija” (Bibliography) in which the last editorial releases were reported.

J. Janacek Gerald, A Report on Transfurismin «Wiener Slawistischer Almanach», n. 19, 1987, pp. 123-142.
T. Klähn, Rea Nikonova and the Legacy of Russian Futurism in «International Yearbook of Futurism Studies», Vol. 5, 2015, pp. 395-424.
I. Kukuj, Laboratorija avangardažurnal Transponans in «Russian Literature», Volume 59, Issue 2-4, 15 February-15 May 2006, pp. 225-259.
I. Kukuj, «Rifmypervyj voln»ob organizujuščem načale tvorčestva Ry Nikonovoj in «Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie», n. 160, 6/2014 http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2014/130/30k.html (03/2018).
Anna-Ry Nikonova-Taršis. «Uktusskaja škola» in «Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie», n. 16, 1995, pp. 221-238.
G. Lehmann, Transpositionskunst von Ry Nikonova und Sergej Sigej in «Russian Literature», Vol. LIX-II/III/IV, 2006, pp. 379-397.
B. Ostanin, A. Kobak, Molnija i raduga. Literaturno-kritičeskie stat’i 1980-ch godov, Izdatel’stvo imeni N.I. Novikova, SPb2003 pp. 87-108.
V. Parisi, Il lettore eccedente. Edizioni periodiche del samizdat sovietico. 1956-1990, pp. 138, 163, 165.
M. Sabbatini, “Quel che si metteva in rima”. Cultura e poesia underground a Leningrado, Collana di Europa Orientalis, Salerno 2008, p. 235.
TransfuristyIzbrannye teksty Ry NikonovojSergeja Sigeja, A. Nika, B. Konstriktora, sost. P. Kazarnovskogo, Gileja, Moskva 2016.

[Giuseppina Larocca]
[10th April 2018]

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