Velimir Khlebnikov

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Khlebnikov in 1916. [1]
Born November 9, 1885(1885-11-09)
Maloderbetovsky ulus, Astrakhan Governorate, Russian Empire (now Malye Derbety, Kalmykia
Died June 28, 1922(1922-06-28) (aged 36)
Santalovo, Kresttsy county, Novgorod Governorate, Soviet Union
Web Ubuweb Sound, Ubuweb Sound, Wikipedia, Wikipedia-RU

Velimir Khlebnikov [Велимир Хлебников; born Viktor Vladimirovich Khlebnikov, Виктор Владимирович Хлебников; 1885-1922), was a Russian Futurist poet and playwright, also interested in mathematics, history, and mythology.

Khlebnikov grew up in an ornithologists’s family in a village near the Caspian Sea. He studied mathematics and the natural sciences at the Universities of Kazan’ and St. Petersburg, but never graduated. Khlebnikov began publishing poetry in 1908; by 1912 he was a leading member of the Russian Futurists. The “verbal mastery” of his zaum’ poetry in A Slap in the Face of Public Taste astounded the poet and critic Roman Jakobson, who later deemed him “the greatest world poet of our century.” In writing The Tables of Destiny, his book of prophecy, Khlebnikov used algorithms to map the events of history and to anticipate the future. In 1912, for instance, he uncannily predicted the collapse of an empire in 1917. During the Civil War, he worked on propaganda posters. He died of malnutrition in Santalovo, in the Novgorod province. (Source)


Based on chronology in Khlebnikov, The King of Time, ed. Charlotte Douglas, 1985, pp 239-247.

  • 9 Nov 1885: K. born in village of Malye Derbety, ca. 80 km south of Volgograd.
  • 1903: Graduates from Kazan gymnasium; enters university.
  • 1908: Sends early poems to Ivanov. Moves to Petersburg; enters university.
  • 1909: Meets Kamensky. Publishes first literary piece.
  • 1910: Plans trip to Montenegro. Meets Burliuk and Matyushin. Breaks with Ivanov and Symbolists. "Incantation by Laughter" published in Kulbin's Impressionists' Studio [Студия импрессионистов]. The collection A Jam for Judges [Садок Судей] published; includes "O Garden of Animals!".
  • 1911: Meets Mayakovsky. Working on theory of history.
  • 1912: Visits Burliuk estate in southern Russia. A Game in Hell [Игра в аду] by K. and Kruchenykh. Contributes to A Slap in the Face of Public Taste [Пощёчина общественному вкусу]. The World in Reverse [Мирсконца] by K. and Kruchenykh.
  • 1913: Contributes to A Jam for Judges II [Садок Судей II]. Mrs. Laneen. "Usa-Gali". "Nikolai". "The Word as Such" [Слово как таковое]. "The Letter as Such".
  • 1914: Breaks with Burliuk over Marinetti. Selections of Poems [Изборник стихов]. Creations [Творения].
  • 1915: Writes "K" (pub. 1916).
  • 1916: Society of 317 (Presidents of Planet Earth) founded. Drafted into army. Stationed near Saratov.
  • 1917: Receives military furlough. In Kharkiv, writes "An Appeal by the Presidents of Planet Earth". In Moscow and Petrograd; with Tatlin plans program of 3 plays.
  • 1918: Works for newspapers in Nizhny Novgorod. Works for newspaper in Astrakhan; writes "October on the Neva".
  • 1919: Spends early spring in Moscow; contributes "The Head of the Universe" and "To the Artists of the World" to proposed collection, International of the Arts. In military hospital with typhus.
  • 1920: In Kharkiv, after release from hospital. Arrives in Baku; works for newspaper and cultural-educational section of Volga-Caspian fleet. In Baku invents Laws of Time.
  • 1921: Sails from Baku to Enzeli, Persia. Returns to Russia; goes to Piatigorsk. Returns to Moscow.
  • 1922: Finishes Zangezi. Excerpts from the Tables of Destiny [Отрывок из "Досок судьбы"] published. Zangezi [Зангези] printed. 28 June: K. dies in village of Santalovo.
Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov, Igra v adu, 1912, IA.
Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov, Mirskontsa, 1912, IA.
Kruchenykh, Khlebnikov, Slovo kak takovoe, 1913, PDF, IA.
Izbornik stikhov, 1914, JPG.
Tvoreniya 1, 1914, PDF, JPG.
Otryvok iz "Dosok sud'by", [1922], JPG.
Zangezi, 1922, JPG.



  • Khlebnikov, et al., Sadok sudey [Садок Судей], St Petersburg: Zhuravl' [Журавль], [Apr 1910], 131 pp, JPG, IA, HTML. (Russian)
  • with Aleksei Kruchenykh, Igra v adu [Игра в аду], Moscow, 1912.
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Poshechina obshestvennomu vkusu. V zashchitu svobodnogo iskusstva. Stikhi, proza, stat'i [Пощёчина общественному вкусу. В защиту свободного искусства: Стихи, проза, статьи], Moscow: Georgy L. Kuzmin, Moscow, Dec 1912, 114 pp. (Russian)
  • with Aleksei Kruchenykh, Mirskontsa [Мирсконца], [Moscow]: [Kuzmin & Dolinsky], 1912, 43 pp. (Russian)
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Sadok sudey 2, Moscow: Zhuravl' [Журавль], 1913, HTML, WS-RU. (Russian)
  • with Aleksei Kruchenykh, Bukh liesinnyi [Бух лесинный], St Petersburg: EUY, [1913], [23] pp. [2]
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Troe, St Petersburg: Zhuravl', 1913, 52 pp. (Russian)
  • with Aleksei Kruchenykh, Slovo kak takovoe [Слово как таковое; The Word as Such], [Moscow]: [EUY], [1913], 15 pp, IA. (Russian)
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Zatychka, sbornik: risunki, stikhi [The Bung: A Collection], Moscow: Gileya, 1913, 13+[4] pp, IA. (Russian)
  • Vremya mera ira [Время мера мира], Petrograd, 1916. (Russian)
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Chetyre stitsy. Sbornik stikhov [Четыре птицы. Сборник стихов], Moscow: К., 1916. (Russian)
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Vremennik [Временник], Moscow: B. i., 1917. (Russian)
  • with Aleksei Kruchenykh and Tatiana Tolstaya, Mir i ostalnoe, Baku, 1920, 93 pp. (Russian)
  • Khlebnikov, et al., Liren [Лирень], V.m., 1920, 40 pp. (Russian)
  • Noch' v okope [Ночь в окопе], Moscow: Imazhinisty, 1921. (Russian)
  • Otryvok iz "Dosok sud'by" [Отрывок из "Досок судьбы"], [Мoscow], [1922]. (Russian)
  • Zangezi [Зангези], Moscow, 1922. (Russian)
  • Zapisnaya knizhka [Записная книжка], ed. A. Kruchenykh, Moscow: Vserossiyskiy soyuz poetov, 1925, 30 pp. (Russian)

Collected writings[edit]

in Russian
  • Izbrannye stikhotvoreniya [Избранные стихотворения], ed. N. Stepanov, Moscow: Sov. pisatel, 1936, 507 pp. (Russian)
  • Sobranie proizvedeniy [Собрание произведений], 5 vols., ed. N.L. Stepanov, Leningrad: Izd-vo pisateley v Leningrade, 1928-33, RSL/1, RSL/2, PDF/3, RSL/3, PDF/4, RSL/4, PDF/5, RSL/5. (Russian)
  • Tvoreniya [Творения], Moscow, 1986. (Russian)
in English

Selected writings[edit]

  • Deň modrých medveďov, trans. Milan Ferko, Bratislava: Slovenský spisovateľ, 1969, 142 pp. [4] (Slovak)

Selected essays[edit]

  • "Radio budushego" [Радио будущего], Krasnaya nov [Красная новь] 8, Moscow, 1927, pp 185-187. Written 1921. (Russian)
    • "Radio of the Future", in Khlebnikov, trans. Paul Schmidt, The King of Time, 1985, pp 155-159; repr. in Khlebnikov Collected Works, 1, 1987, pp 392-396. (English)


  • Roman Jakobson, Noviyshaya russkaya poeziya: Nabrosok pervyi. Viktor Khlebnikov [Новљйшая русская поезия], Prague: Tipografija, 1921, 68 pp. [5] (Russian)
    • "Modern Russian Poetry: Velimir Khlebnikov", in Major Soviet Writers: Essays in Criticism, ed. E.J.Brown, Oxford University Press, 1973, pp 58-82. (English)
    • more translations
  • Vladimir Mayakovsky, "V.V. Khlebnikov" [В.В. Хлебников], Krasnaya nov [Красная новь] 4, Moscow, 1922, pp 303-306. (Russian)
  • D. Kozlov (Д. Козлов), "Novoe o Velemire Khlebnikove" [Новое о Велемире Хлебникове. (Воспоминания)], Krasnaya nov [Красная новь] 8, Moscow, 1927, pp 177-188. (Russian)

See also[edit]