A Surplus of Stars I   Structures, Instruments & Gravity

Undated letter to John McEwen from Alexandr Deineka
as transcribed by Ihor Holubisky 1995

Dear Comrade:
Although death has prevented me from speaking to you in person, I have followed your work with interest. Perhaps my condition has allowed me a special privilege, all the time in the world to appreciate that which I could not before. We are, to paraphrase your statement, distinguished only by corporeal presence, or lack of it.

Tatlin, who never paid attention to me when we were alive, visits almost every day and talks incessantly about your Babel tower. The jealousy in his voice is barely concealed; the steel at your disposal, the envy of all the tools he never had, and his own unfulfilled dreams for his Monument to the Third International, and as he told me recently, and not for the first time, the joke is on history. It was never his intent to build it, whether or not there was enough steel in all mother Russia. Lenin wanted it, but he was so impractical when it came to monuments and his vision of the Revolution.


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A Surplus of Stars
Structures, Instruments & Gravity

Undated letter to John McEwen from Alexandr Deineka
as transcribed by Ihor Holubisky 1995

Dear Comrade:
Although death has prevented me from speaking to you in person, I have followed your work with interest. Perhaps my condition has allowed me a special privilege, all the time in the world to appreciate that which I could not before. We are, to paraphrase your statement, distinguished only by corporeal presence, or lack of it.

Tatlin, who never paid attention to me when we were alive, visits almost every day and talks incessantly about your Babel tower. The jealousy in his voice is barely concealed; the steel at your disposal, the envy of all the tools he never had, and his own unfulfilled dreams for his Monument to the Third International, and as he told me recently, and not for the first time, the joke is on history. It was never his intent to build it, whether or not there was enough steel in all mother Russia. Lenin wanted it, but he was so impractical when it came to monuments and his vision of the Revolution.

...read more

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