Sunday, 29 November 2020


Invented in 1913 by radical futurist Aleksei Yeliseyevick Kruchyonykh (*1886 – †1968) with literati contemporaries including David Burliuk and Vladimir Mayakovsky (see previously), the non-referential linguistic experiment zaum was to be a demonstration that language is indefinite and indeterminate, spontaneous and non-codified—something that the listener or interlocutor would give form to and thus revealing something about the universal undercurrents of communication. Though transrational in nature, the Russian prefix and noun are meant to convey “beyondsense” and adherents are referred to as zaumiks. Listen to examples recited at Weird Universe at the link above, including Kruchyonykh’s poem here pictured—Дыр бул щыл, transliterated as Dyr bul shchyl, which the author claimed was more patriotic and nationally insightful than the entire canon of Alexander Pushkin.