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From the Notebooks of Dziga Vertov

Dziga Vertov was born Denis Arkadyevitch Kaufman in 1896, in Bialystok, then Russian territory. His parents were librarians. His younger brothers, Mikhail and Boris, were later to work in the cinema — Mikhail as his cameraman and as director, Boris also as cameraman (emigrating to California by way of Paris where he worked for a time with Jean Vigo.). Denis Kaufman studied music at the Bialystok Conservatory, interrupting his studies when obliged to flee, with his parents, from the invading German army. The family settled in Moscow. There, as a very young man, he began to write verse and science fiction. In 1916 and 1917 he studied medicine in St. Petersburg. He had, during his period of youthful literary activity, been impressed and influenced like many of the artists and intellectuals of his generation, by Futurism, and it was then (between 1914 and 1916) that he adopted the pseudonym

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