Ugly Duckling Presse

Thirty-five New Pages
Thirty-five New Pages

Lev Rubinstein

translated by Philip Metres, Tatiana Tulchinsky

Poetry $15
Out of Print"deadly serious, devastatingly funny comedy"

Translators Metres and Tulchinsky team up again to bring us Thirty-five New Pages, one of Lev Rubinstein's note-card poems, written in 1981. Does it tell a story? Is it a reflection on the form of the book? Is it there at all? This classic minimalist/conceptualist text from the "postmodern Chekhov" summons Genesis and Zen, Tractatus and guided meditation, with whip-smart wit and considerable elan, presented here on 35 library-style cards in a handsome letterpressed box. (This poem is not included in Rubinstein's other UDP collection, Catalogue of Comedic Novelties.) "Here, in fact, something could happen."

Eastern European Poets Series #28.

Excerpt ˇ

Excerpt

from Thirty-five New Pages:

Page 10 (10)

(10) Here, in fact, something could happen.

 

Close ˆ

About the Author

Lev Rubinstein

Born in 1947, Lev Rubinstein was a major figure of Moscow Conceptualism and the unofficial Soviet art scene of the 1970s and 1980s. While working as a librarian, he began using catalogue cards to write sequential texts. He described his “note-card poems,” as a “hybrid genre” that “slides along the edges of genres and, like a small mirror, fleetingly reflects each of them, without identifying with any of them.” His work was circulated through samizdat and underground readings in the “unofficial” art scene of the sixties and seventies, finding wide publication only after the late 1980s. Now among Russia’s most well-known living poets, Rubinstein lives in Moscow and writes cultural criticism for the independent media. His books in English translation include Here I Am (Glas, 2001), Catalogue of Comedic Novelties (UDP, 2004), and Thirty-Five New Pages (UDP, 2011). In Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties (UDP, 2014), his note-card poems appear in their entirety for the first time.

About the Translator

Philip Metres
Philip Metres is the author of a number of books and chapbooks, including A Concordance of Leaves (Diode 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), To See the Earth (2008), Come Together: Imagine Peace (2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (2007). He edited and co-translated the first American edition of Lev Rubinstein's poems (Catalogue of Comedic Novelties, UDP, 2004). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry and has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award (for the forthcoming Sand Opera), the Anne Halley Prize, the Arab American Book Award, and the Cleveland Arts Prize. He teaches literature and creative writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tatiana Tulchinsky

Tatiana Tulchinsky has translated many works of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction, among them, Anna Politkovskaya's A Small Corner of Hell, An Anthology of Russian Verse, and The Selected Works of Venedict Erofeev. In 1998, she was awarded the AATSEEL Prize for Best Translation from a Slavic or East European Language for her work with Marvin Kantor on Leo Tolstoy’s Plays in Three Volumes (Northwestern University Press). She is the recipient of a Witter-Bynner Foundation for Poetry Grant, and a Creative Writing Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, she is translating and promoting English-language drama for the Russian stage. 

Advance Praise

Lev Rubinstein's note-card poems ... are an eye-opener.—Marjorie Perloff
...in the tradition of seriality associated with Charles Reznikoff and Robert Grenier.—Charles Bernstein
Lev Rubinstein is the true heir of the OBERIU artists of the late 1920s. Like his most illustrious predecessor, Daniil Kharms, Rubinstein creates deadly serious, devastatingly funny comedy that incorporates a broad range of literary forms.—Andrew Wachtel