Shkurupii, Geo (1903–1937) By Ilnytzkyj, Oleh S.
Ukrainian futurist poet and prose writer Shkurupii was a close collaborator of Mykhail Semenko, the founder of Ukrainian Futurism. He penned articles about Marinetti and the Art of Noises in 1922. He debuted as a Futurist poet (‘King of the Futurist Prairies’) that same year with a perplexing collection, Psykhetozy [Psychetosis], distinguished by eroticism, narcissism, neologisms, Dadaist elements, and typographic experiments. The poems were ironic, anti-aesthetic, focused on urban themes, speed, and machines. Opposed to the symbolist cult of the poet, Shkurupii’s later poems were topical, narrative and rhetorical in form; he blasted conservatism and philistinism, while showing enthusiasm for the new Soviet revolutionary order. In 1923 he also embraced prose. Determined to develop a mass readership, Shkurupii focused on plot, defamiliarisation, mystification and canonical popular genres like the detective story. His acute formalism sometimes turned to self-conscious, meta-artistic practices, characterised by commentary on literary conventions that he set out to undermine in his writings. His most controversial novel was Dveri v den’ [Gateway into Day] (1929), a mélange of literary and documentary forms for which Soviet literary critics condemned him. In 1930 he edited two issues of the futurist publication Avanhard-Al’manakh proletars’kykh myttsiv Novoi generatsii [Avant-Garde: Almanac of the Proletarian Artists of the New Generation]. Shkurupii was executed during the Stalinist terror in 1937.