№12 2022

УДК / UDK: 82.01/09+82.1/29


Author: Anna V. Shvets
About the author:

Anna V. Shvets, PhD in Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory 1, 119991 Moscow, Russia.


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The paper explores a Whitmanesque influence on Igor Terentiev, a Tbilisi-based minor Futurist poet, Alexei Kruchenykh’s disciple. While residing in Georgia with Zdanevich and Kruchenykh (that’s from 1917 up until the 1920s), Terentiev would write books of poetry exhibiting an unusual typographic design as a means of enhancing the poetic effect. In one of these books (“17 Non-Sense Tools”), Whitman’s name is invoked, and the paper investigates the connection between the poets further. The paper focuses on Whitman’s and Terentiev’s approaches to the issue of poetic signification. Whitman not only works with the nature of the signifier modifying it but also tries to render it inseparable from its signified, equating names and objects with each other. Such a semiotic approach could be interpreted through the lens of the opposition “presence effects” / “meaning effects” coined by H.U. Gumbrecht. Presence effects are interpreted as “[m]aterialities of communication... are all those phenomena and conditions that contribute to the production of meaning, without being meaning themselves” (informational content. — A. Sh.) [Gumbrecht 2004: 8]. Whitman tries to integrate both “meaning effects” and “presence effects” into the body of a poetic sign. Terentiev identifies that poetic orientation of “objectifying” signifiers and tries to devise an original poetic program on its basis. Terentiev engages Whitman’s poetic semiotic so that it informs his poetics to the extent that he designs creative writing techniques aimed at a direct communication of meaning, without relying on semiotic substitutes.

Keywords: avant-garde, experimental poetry, presence effect, Walt Whitman, Igor Terentiev.
For citation:

Shvets, Anna. “‘Not a Single Epithet, Metaphor, or a Desire to be Reflected in a Symbolic Mirror’: A Whitmanesque Echo in Igor Terentiev’s Poetry.” Literature of the Americas, no. 12 (2022): 37–50.     


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