Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms

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9781590200421: Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms
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A master of formally inventive poetry and what today would be called micro-fiction, Kharms built off the legacy of Russian Futurist writers to create a uniquely deadpan style written out of and in spite of the absurdities of life in Stalinist Russia.

Featuring the acclaimed novella The Old Woman and darkly humorous short prose sequence Events (Sluchai), Today I Wrote Nothing also includes dozens of short prose pieces, plays, and poems long admired in Russia, but never before available in English. A major contribution for American readers 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 is an invaluable collection for readers of innovative writing everywhere.

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' archives, being recognized internationally. In this brilliant translation by Matvei Yankelevich, English-language readers now have a comprehensive collection of the prose and poetry that secured Kharms s literary reputation a reputation that grew in Russia even as the Soviet establishment worked to suppress it.

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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 in state custody after being arrested on suspicion of anti-Soviet activities.

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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9781585677436: Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writing of Daniil Kharms

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ISBN 10:  1585677434 ISBN 13:  9781585677436
Publisher: Overlook Duckworth, 2007
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9780715637715: Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writing of Daniil Kharms

Gerald..., 2009
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