Daniil Kharms

The anti-canon


Influx Press have a nice feature on their blog, The Anti-Canon, a “collection of short essays focusing on writers less well known, positioned outside of the literary mainstream or simply deserving of more attention”. A little like Writers No One Reads, another series after our own hearts. The brilliant Daniil Kharms makes Influx’s list.

A few months before 36 year old outlaw writer Daniil Kharms starves to death in a psychiatric prison in 1942, a German bomb hits a block of flats during the siege of Leningrad. One side of the block is destroyed. On the other side, windows implode. Inside one of those shattered apartments. Kharms’ second wife, Marina Malich and philosopher Yakuc Drukin frantically gather up his papers and notebooks. These fragments floating through the bomb blasted air are his collected works. They’re what’s left of him.