Sign Systems Studies

Volume 28, 2000

Tomi Huttunen
Pages 181-197

From "word-images" to "chapter-shots"
The imaginist montage of Anatolij Mariengof

From "word-images' to "chapter-shots: The irnagiuist montage of Anatolij Mariengof. The article discusses the three dominant imaginist principles of Anatolij Mariengofs (1897-1962) poetic technique, as they are translated into prose in his first fictional novel Cynics (1928). These principles include the "catalogue of images", a genre introduced by Vadim Shershenevich, i.e. poetry formed of nouns, which Mariengof makes use of in his longer imaginist poems. Another dominant imaginist principle, to which Mariengof referred in his theoretic articles and poetic texts, is similar to the creating of shocking images typical of Russian futurism. Mariengofs application is the juxtaposition of "pure" (chistyj) and "impure" (nechistyj), either a conflict between the vehicle and the object within a metaphor or a conflict between metaphors. This is an essential poetic feature in both Mariengofs poetry and prose. The third, maybe the most Mariengofian imaginist principle, relevant to the study of Cynics, is the poetics of transition (poetika sdviga), i.e. a certain fragmented structure of the text, which is related to Mariengors use of heteroaccentual rhyme. All these principles can be treated as fundamental elements in Mariengofs use of montage technique in his fictional prose.