By Neil Cornwell
Daniil Kharms (1905-42), Leningrad absurdist of the Nineteen Twenties and 30s, was once almost about the final consultant of the Russian literary avant-garde, whose careers and lives have been blighted and curtailed amid the cultural and historic excesses of Stalinism. Unpublished and undiscussed for many years, Kharms's works progressively started to emerge from obscurity or from table drawers within the Nineteen Sixties, showing firstly usually overseas, until eventually glasnost introduced them to the Soviet reader within the overdue Nineteen Eighties. learn on Kharms and his circle remains to be constructing and booklet in their works continues to be in growth. in simple terms now, as his complete surviving paintings takes form, is the true significance of Kharms's contribution to Russian and ecu literature starting to be measurable. the current quantity of essays and different fabrics, assembled via major western and Russian students within the box, deals a primary complete and collective evaluation of this startlingly leading edge exponent of brief prose, verse and drama.
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Additional resources for Daniil Kharms and the Poetics of the Absurd: Essays and Materials
4, 303) and viciousness ('Rakukin's Soul', 'Rehabilitation' and many other examples). His interest in them was purely existential. He was concemed with them not as abstract concepts, nor as psychological ones, but as noumenal realities, that is to say as the real states of a fallen soul, the realities which went beyond the confines of the soul. So this is not subjectivism, but absolute subjectivity. This can partly be found in Gogol, whom Kharms so admired, where it is apresentiment of our modem existential understanding of life.
The most common of 'the peripeteias of tradition al farce' is here said to be 'the infliction of pain and/or indignity on the human body'. 38 Such a 'peripeteia' (or surprise, in Palmer's somewhat un-Aristotelian use of Introduction: Daniil Kharms, Black Miniaturist 17 the term) is the receiving of a pot of paint on the head, say while walking under a lad der , or the rather more Kharmsian brick, for no reason at all. 45). Gags, wh ich may be totally unpredictable or indeed totally predictable, when strung together with some degree of linkage, form a narrative.
2 Miracle, the understanding of life as miracle and as an absolutely purposeless one at that, miracle as miracle; this is the first and one of the foremost ideas which determined Kharms's writings, his life, the close tie between them, the very inseparability of his creativity from his life. Kharms thought that if not everyone, then at least most people were consciously or unconsciously seeking or expecting a miracle, not, I repeat, a miracle aimed at anything in particular, but a purposeless one.