Cultural discovery!

A link at TAC sent me here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/may/07/daniil-kharms-strangely-funny-russian-genius/

Yada, yada, I thought, if some literary critic is saying it’s magnificent humor, I probably won’t like it, especially coming from an (assumed) affluent and comfort-infested American puffball (I have just discovered this word actually exists!).

Which in any case sent me googling for Daniil Kharms, which sent me here: http://www.sevaj.dk/kharms/kharmseng.htm

I clicked on the first one, seemed good enough, no?

It’s magnificent, I loved it. When you can write, you can write. What a criminal, tragic loss.

Symphony no. 2


Anton Mikhailovich spat, said “yuck”, spat again, said “yuck” again, spat again, said “yuck” again and left. To Hell with him. Instead, let me tell about Ilya Pavlovich.

Ilya Pavlovich was born in 1893 in Constantinople. When he was still a boy, his family moved to St. Petersburg, and there he graduated from the German School on Kirchnaya Street. Then he worked in some shop; then he did something else; and when the Revolution began, he emigrated. Well, to Hell with him. Instead, let me tell about Anna Ignatievna.

But it is not so easy to tell about Anna Ignatievna. Firstly, I know almost nothing about her, and secondly, I have just fallen of my chair, and have forgotten what I was about to say. So let me instead tell about myself.

I am tall, fairly intelligent; I dress prudently and tastefully; I don’t drink, I don’t bet on horses, but I like ladies. And ladies don’t mind me. They like when I go out with them. Serafima Izmaylovna has invited me home several times, and Zinaida Yakovlevna also said that she was always glad to see me. But I was involved in a funny incident with Marina Petrovna, which I would like to tell about. A quite ordinary thing, but rather amusing. Because of me, Marina Petrovna lost all her hair – got bald like a baby’s bottom. It happened like this: Once I went over to visit Marina Petrovna, and bang! she lost all her hair. And that was that.


Loved it.

Here’s another one:

An encounter

On one occasion a man went off to work and on the way he met another man who, having bought a loaf of Polish bread, was on his way home.

And that’s just about all there is to it.


Update May 3, 2015

I have to say that after reading several of his short stories, that some are a bit violent – and stupidly so. So those I didn’t like.

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