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2021 Vol. 12 №4

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Literary scandal in cubo-futurism poetics and the communicative behaviour of recipients



The article deals with a ‘literary scandal’ as a mode and a script of communication within cubo-futurists poetic circles as far as the communication between poets and their addressees during a public performance is concerned. The latter is an essential component of the “literary everyday routine” of the poetic circles analysed. Not only does scandal betray an intention of insulting the recipient but also it is due to the scandal that the avant-garde author could find the addressee, become closer to him and make him more engaged in a poetic happening. The goal of the study (based on the evidence of cubo-futurist public performances) is to describe a scandal as a communicative script, a frame, identify a potential addressee, single out reception profiles and analyse communication orientations underlying those profiles. Drawing on the understanding of a literary scandal suggested by Reitblat, we trace a connection between a scandal and the public (recipients). According to Warner, the public are people actively par­ticipating in an event. Participatory strategies of the cubo-futurists public could be nar­rowed down to three types of reception: a sceptic, a critic, and a potential ally. Using the speech act theory (Austin, Derrida) and the actor-network theory (Callon’s opposition of framing and overflowing), we analyse how the performative utterance functions in a given context. We show how the performative utterances carrying a seed of a potential scandal were construed (or could have been construed). The article analyses the interpretation of a scandal and com­municative strategies chosen by recipients. While the critic prefers to frame the utter­ance in a predictable way by placing it into a fixed context and literally interpreting the ut­terance, the ally, on the contrary, is open to a variety of contexts and is ready to participate in a play of the pragmatic unfolding of an utterance. The latter type of reception underlies the possibility of the recipient’s creative engagement with a communicative experiment of the avant-garde.


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