Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writing of Daniil Kharms

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9780715637715: Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writing of Daniil Kharms

As featured in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The New York Times Book Review.
Daniil Kharms has long been heralded as one of the most iconoclastic writers of the Soviet era, but the full breadth of his achievement is only in recent years, following the opening of Kharms's archives, being recognized internationally. Thanks to the efforts of translator and poet Matvei Yankelevich, English language readers now have a comprehensive collection of the prose and poetry that secured Kharms's literary reputationAa reputation that grew in Russia even as the Soviet establishment worked to suppress it.
Both a major contribution for American scholars and students of Russian literature and an exciting discovery for fans of contemporary writers as eclectic as George Saunders, John Ashbery, and Martin McDonagh, Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writing of Daniil Kharms is an invaluable collection for readers of innovative writing everywhere.
Translated from the Russian by Matvei Yankelevich

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About the Author:

Daniil Kharms (1905-1942) was born in St. Petersburg and grew up amidst the Bolshevik revolution. As a young man, he became well known, along with other writers in the OBERIU movement he founded, as an eccentric poet and performer of the early Soviet literary scene. He died of starvation incarcerated by the state on suspicion of Anti-Soviet activities. Matvei Yankelevich is a founding editor of Ugly Duckling Press. His translations and writings have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. He teaches at Hunter College in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this surprising new collection of Soviet writer Kharms's short pieces, including poetry and journal entries (one of which appeared in the New Yorker earlier this month), readers will find echoes of Beckett, Ionesco and Kafka, among others. Indeed, Kharms (1905–1942) was part the OBERIU (Association of Real Art), a Soviet artists' collective often described as Absurdist in orientation. A self-proclaimed member of the avant-garde, Kharms made often violent nonsense out of everyday life. In 1931, he was briefly exiled because his work did not promote Socialist Realism, as Yankelovich explains in an informative introduction. Kharms's life suffered a complete reversal after his return, a fact that shows in his writing. There's a youthful showiness to the earliest work that is replaced by a more fierce desperation in the later years, when Kharms often went hungry and knew his work would not be published. The book's wonderfully contradictory title, is in unexpected contrast to the weary resignation of a journal entry: Today I wrote nothing. Doesn't matter. Yankelovich, who provides the fine translations, makes much of the dramatic possibilities inherent in the work but almost combatively refuses to read any political meaning into his subject's writings, which alternate between playfulness and a sense of futility. (Oct.)
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Book Description Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, 2009. Book Condition: New. Daniil Kharms was one of the most iconoclastic writers to emerge from the hotbed of the early Soviet avant garde. Kharms' uniquely deadpan style developed out of - and in spite of - the absurdities of life in Stalinist Russia. This collection is suitable for readers of innovative writing. Translator(s): Yankelevich, Matvei. Num Pages: 272 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: DCF; DD; DN. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 203 x 139 x 20. Weight in Grams: 254. . 2009. 0th Edition. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780715637715

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