It's No Good
Kirill Medvedev is a young Russian poet who in 2003 rejected the Moscow literary world for its corruption and irrelevance. In the years since, he has protested the Putin regime on the streets of Moscow, written long essays about the post-Soviet intelligentsia, and taken his poetry in new directions. "I am interested," Medvedev has written, "exclusively in the artist undertaking a 'battle for his art'—which in our own time will mean a battle for his position. The meaning of this is contained not in one or another social function, but, to the contrary, in the ability to see, without distortion by one's social standing, without limitations by one's artistic milieu." This book, co-published with Ugly Duckling Presse, collects Medvedev's poetry, essays, and manifestos from the past decade.
"In his most eloquent essay, 'My Fascism,' Medvedev defines poetry as 'the maximal expression, via the medium of language, of this or that authentic way of seeing.' And it is this—the quest for an authentic way of seeing—that leads to Medvedev's wholesale rejection, a 'no' upon which a 'yes' might be built. He calls it a 'rebellion of humanism.' For Americans, and especially for American writers and artists, Medvedev's texts must have the force of a clarion call." —Printers Row, Chicago Tribune
"A shrewd and irritable observer of the petty (and not-so-petty) corruptions of the Russian literary world...Part of the nightmare world that It’s No Good evokes is one that both Orwell and the members of Pussy Riot would understand. It’s a nightmare of euphemism and cant. 'This is what happens,' Mr. Medvedev writes, 'when the authorities don’t want to speak clearly and don’t want to be spoken of clearly, either.'" —Dwight Garner, New York Times
"It's No Good is an event. Archimedes said: Give me a place to stand, and a long enough lever, and I'll move the world. Kirill Medvedev and his translators have given American readers another place to stand, a kind of Zuccotti of the mind. Now if only we can keep our grip on the lever." —Garth Risk Hallberg, The Millions
As seen in n+1 Issues 6 and 14, as well as Occupy! Gazette number 4.
Translated by Keith Gessen with Mark Krotov,
Cory Merrill, and Bela Shayevich
Edited, introduced, and annotated by Keith Gessen
Designed by Don't Look Now!
Smyth-sewn. 280 pp, 5.75 x 8.25"
Publication date: December 2012
Co-published with Ugly Duckling Presse (EEPS 30)