Friday, May 09, 2008

London Review of Books Features TODAY I WROTE NOTHING by Daniil Kharms

Tony Wood considers the achievements of the Russian writer Daniil Kharms and Today I Wrote Nothing, edited and translated by Matvei Yankelevich, in the current issue of The London Review of Books. "Yankelevich has written a sensitive introduction that treads a careful path through the many interpretative possibilities open to Kharms readers. What emerges most strongly from the selection is the character of Kharms’s world: both the one he created, in which Gogol and Pushkin tumble across a stage cursing each other and four-legged crows have five legs, and the one in which he was uncomfortably living. It would be wrong to draw too direct a line between the two, but their most obvious shared feature is the violence: carried out, in the case of the stories, or misanthropically imagined, in the case of diary entries and other writings."

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