Khlebnikov, Velimir (1885–1922) By Ioffe, Dennis
One of the founders of Russian Futurism, Khlebnikov can be counted as one of the movement’s most prominent and seminal representatives. Widely acclaimed for his innovative experiments with language, Khlebnikov is generally regarded as the most radical poet of the Russian avant-garde. He left a noticeable imprint on all the major venues of experimental art in Russia during the years when Futurism was influential, particularly through his exploration of “trans-reason” language [zaum’]. His extravagant vagabond lifestyle fortified the modernist life-creation legacy in post-symbolist Russia. Khlebnikov’s poems and prose appeared in the leading avant-garde periodicals of the era. After nearly two decades of intensive writing, traveling, participating in avant-garde performances in Russia and abroad (most remarkably in Iran) Khlebnikov died as a result of a combination of various deadly diseases and malnutrition in the village of Santalovo in the Novgorod region.