The second volume of the bie bao series presents a eulogy entitled Iliazda at the Birthday Party, a pseudo-autobiographical lecture delivered by Ilya Zdanevich in Paris in 1922. It reports on Zdanevich’s artistic and political adventures up until then. Along with an autobiography full of self-admiration, in this lecture Zdanevich gives an interpretation of his zaum dramas inspired by Freudianism, and humorously describes a colourful image of the Russian microcosm in Montparnasse.
Additionally, this second volume also includes Iliazd’s letter to Ardengo Soffici from 1964, where one can read, in the most unambiguous terms, about Zdanevich’s positions against war, imperialism, and all forms of nationalism. Subtitled 50 Years of Russian Futurism, the letter to Soffici presents us with an altogether new Zdanevich – a ‘fellow traveller’ in both leftist and avant-garde circles. As well as the extended introduction and extensive annotations, the texts are further contextualised with Johanna Drucker's visual presentation of the birth of the Iliazd cult.
Translated by by Pavels Smišlajevs and Michel Chevalier.