As a literary theorist, Sergei Tretyakov is one of the leading lights in the left-wing art avant-garde. Few people know that he was also one of the most active literary cartographers of the early Soviet Union and its Asian and European neighbours. On the basis of a year and a half spent in Beijing in 1925/26, Tretyakov published eleven anthologies of travel sketches and more than a hundred travel reports over a period of ten years. Poised as they are between the avant-garde and early Stalinism, these are some of the most important documents of Soviet geopoetics. As political texts, they redraw the map of socialism. As literary texts, they experiment with poetic hybrid forms that not only depict in passive terms the circumstances Tretyakov found himself in but also actively work towards transforming the world. At the intersection of these strands, a textual space emerges conveyed through the process of writing and travelling, one that is far more than a mere transcription of the youthful Soviet Union. The book appears in the Magma series.
Sergei Tretyakov (1892–1937), Soviet writer and representative of Russian Futurism.