Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin – Bluish Russia

1 Aug – 5 Sep 2016

The book is exhibited at the Art Archive as part of the Polička/Shelf project.


August’s Shelf presents a notebook of Yesenin’s poetry. This complete transcription of his book Modravá Rus [Bluish Russia], first published in 1940 as part of the Odeon edition, was made about approximately midway through the twentieth century by an unknown author. It isn’t an author’s book. It isn’t even illustrated, and its design has no artistic ambitions.

This unknown author copied Yesenin’s texts, perhaps for himself, because he had to have the book – and had no other way of obtaining it, perhaps because through transcribing Yesenin he understood him more deeply. Quite possibly it was a gift: about words that he wanted to convey to the recipient on a more personal level, about Yesenin, who came to life in his manuscript. Or perhaps all of this at once.


But it was due to feeling, necessity, and a great comprehension of Yesenin’s poetry that he spent many hours writing. Only of this can we be certain. That the book was important to him. Enough for painstaking typography on the cover. Enough to carefully transcribe his poems including notes, Yesenin’s own postscript, and Mathies’ afterword to the first edition.

Anna Pleštilová