Montage in Russian Imaginism: Poetry, theatre and theory

Tomi Huttunen


The article discusses the concept of montage as used by the Russian Imaginist poetic group: the montage principle in their poetry, theoretical writings and theatre articles. The leading Imaginist figures Vadim Shershenevich and Anatolij Mariengof were active both in theorizing and practising montage in their oeuvre at the beginning of the 1920s. Shershenevich’s application of the principle in poetry was called “image catalogue”, a radical poetic experiment in the spirit of both Walt Whitman and Sergei Eisenstein. Mariengof ’s main contribution to the montage poetics was his first fictional novel The Cynics (1928). The article also discusses the Imaginists’ writings on the essence of theatre as an autonomous art form – Shershenevich’s actitivy in the OGT (Experimental Heroic Theatre) and Mariengof ’s participation in the work of the MKT (Moscow Kamerny Theatre).


Russian Imaginism; avant-garde poetry; experimental theatre; montage; metro-rhythm

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SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia