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Incidences

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4.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  866 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
“With remarkable precision and fluid language, the stories capture everyday tension in a land where an innocent knock on the door might mean entrapment in a bureaucratic maze or even death at the hands of the military.”—The New York Times Book Review

This collection of stories is composed of short miniatures, many of which the author called “incidents.” The quirky, bold wri
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Five Star (first published 1988)
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The Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovDoctor Zhivago by Boris PasternakOne Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr SolzhenitsynWe by Yevgeny ZamyatinHeart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
Best Russian (Soviet 1917-1991) Literature
107th out of 161 books — 186 voters
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Best Russian Literature
248th out of 387 books — 1,629 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,503)
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Ben Winch
I didn’t get this at first. The cover’s ugly, the edition nasty, and in the introduction someone called Simon McBurney writes about hearing Tom Waits on the radio while stuck in a traffic jam near Vine Avenue in L.A.. (Heartattack and Vine’s a favourite of mine too, friend, but some decorum, please!) Anyhow, eventually the penny dropped. Turns out Mr McBurney had some good advice after all: read it to children. And one day when my hyperactive eight-year old stepson wouldn’t sit still I tried it. ...more
Sophie
Sep 02, 2009 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, russian
i read it and nearly fell of the bench laughing. then i was reading it to my friends on the subway and nearly fell of my seat laughing. then they were reading it to each other and nearly fell off their seats as well.

then we went home and that was all there was to it.
Şahin Kalkay
Apr 18, 2016 Şahin Kalkay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İnsanların din veya tanrı ya da ne ad verirlerse versinler inanmak istedikleri -veya istemedikleri- asıl şeyin "ölümsüzlük" ya da "ruhun ölümsüzlüğü" işte ne bileyim böyle bi şey olduğunun tespiti beni benden aldı.

Bu Rusların kafası çalışıyor gerçekten :)
Buck
Dec 07, 2008 Buck rated it really liked it
Shelves: russians
Stupidly, I googled Daniil Kharms just before settling in to write my review, and I stumbled upon George Saunders' NYT review of another Kharms book, in which Saunders somehow plagiarized all my ideas in advance, before recasting them in a much wittier form than I could ever hope to achieve. All of which I consider EXTREMELY DISCOURTEOUS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/boo...

The Absurdist movement in 1920's Leningrad reminds me of the doomed 'Visceral Realists' in The Savage Detectives, excep
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Susa
Oct 24, 2011 Susa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Rajoja rikkovaa sillä tavalla, joka melkein särkee päätä, koska missään ei ole mitään järkeä eikä mitään voi ymmärtää.
Nevena
Feb 21, 2016 Nevena rated it really liked it
My brother used to read this book to me when I was little. He is 20 years younger than me. He still hasn't learned how to read. He also doesn't know how to speak. In fact, I don't have a brother so maybe it's best not to talk about him anymore.

Actual rating: 4.3 stars
Rhys
Sep 01, 2009 Rhys rated it really liked it
An incredible book of ultra-short stories, dramatic fragments and weird non-fiction pieces... I grabbed this volume off the library shelf on impulse and I'm glad I did. It has turned out to be one of the most intriguing reads of the year so far...

This is pure Absurdism without any mitigating factors, individual prose fragments that make no sense on their own but when are regarded together with others of their kind seem to make a certain sense. Or rather, they echo and amplify each other (and som
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Tobias Kask
Jan 05, 2015 Tobias Kask rated it really liked it
Incidences is a selection of works by mr. Kharms; a collection of short stories, essays and plays written in Soviet Russia during the 1930s. It is my first glimpse of "critically acclaimed" literary absurdism; a form of humor that I've always enjoyed but never been able to categorize. I'm still not sure if i can.

I've read some essays by Kharms before (which ultimately lead to me buying this book), and i I find myself myself going \(O_o)/ all the freaking time. The thing is, though, i enjoy going
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Madison Lynn
Mar 16, 2012 Madison Lynn rated it liked it
A predecessor to what we now deem "absurdism" and the most innovative reject of Russian Futurism, Daniil Kharms' writing is one of the most incisive literature in the past century. His short form prose takes brilliant steps to deconstruct fiction - one could spend an endless amount of time reading a single one of his "incidences" and continue to find new interpretations.

The only thing keeping me from giving this book a 5/5 rating is the translation - Saunders' adaptations are adequate but fall
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Michelle
Oddly hilarious, and hilariously odd, this collection of sundry writings by Kharms disturbs and charms. The so-called 'Incidents' make up much of the book, and are like literary candy - small stories that range from the mundane to the violent. Kharms experimented with micro forms way before the Internet age, but this style coincides with our trend towards bite-size chunks of information (I was reminded, in a way, of Jennifer Egan's Twitter-enabled short story for The New Yorker).

The use of drea
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Merel
Apr 14, 2016 Merel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting so much from this book because so many people have recommended it to me. It was very different from what I expected. Some of the stories were hilarious in their cruelty and absurdity, some were just terribly boring and nonsense. I did not become a fan.
Erma Odrach
Sep 08, 2009 Erma Odrach rated it really liked it
A book of short vignettes (often only a few paragraphs) by Russian surrealist/absurdist writer Daniil Kharms (1905-1942). They are witty, violent, sad, petty, clever, funny, and more. In one, Pushkin trips over Gogol, then Gogol trips over Pushkin and so on and so on; in another, old women plummet out the window, one after the other, and die; in yet another, Comrade Mashkin kills Comrade Koshkin; and let's not forget about Tolstoy going off neighing like a horse. These 'incidences' are inventive ...more
Madison
Aug 25, 2008 Madison rated it liked it
The translation is not as fluid as other English versions of his work, but this collection includes of some of Kharms' erotica I haven't read anywhere else. The stories are amazing, but the translation falls a little short for Kharms' prose.
Nicholaus Patnaude
Sep 04, 2008 Nicholaus Patnaude rated it it was amazing
Why couldn't he have written a novel? It would have rivaled "A Confederacy of Dunces." These stories are funny and outrageous and perfect for the easily bored. (Note: same stories as black coat anth.)
Michael
Aug 05, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it
the new yorker totally discovered this guy a full four months after i did. it's purely a coincidence that i'm recommending him to you the same week they published an old story of his.
Oskars
Aug 03, 2013 Oskars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brīnišķīgas likumsakarības absurda teātrī, kurā ikviens no mums ir aktieris. Lasīju un no bailēm smējos pilnā balsī.
Celil
Mar 24, 2016 Celil rated it really liked it
Shelves: fast-read
Baştan sona farklı bir dil var. Encore kitaplarını sevmemden mi, yoksa hikayelerdeki humorun tadından mı böyle hissî davranıyorum, bilemiyorum. Tabii ki Yazar'adır giden tüm puanlarımız; her ne kadar o da kitabını yine Puşkin'e ödetmişse de. Bir defa daha anladık ki, Puşkin, hâlâ 'hesapları ödemeye'* devam ediyor. Ne adammışsın, be kardeşim! Helal olsun... :)

Ayrıca Dziga Vertov'un insanlarını, bu hikayelerde vücuda gelmiş gibi hissettim. Bu da kitabın başka bir gücüdür. Vesselam... vessevgi...
Eustachio
Jul 13, 2013 Eustachio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russi
Alcune volte è così assurdo e senza senso da fare il giro e far ridere. Più spesso è solo nonsenso fine a se stesso e non mi ha detto nulla.
In questa edizione però non ci sono solo racconti, ci sono lettere (alcune serie, altre scherzose), pezzi del suo diario (straziante quando non lo pagavano e faceva la fame) e degli scritti teorici (che probabilmente ho letto senza la dovuta attenzione, ma perlopiù mi hanno annoiato).
Ho amato gli Aneddoti dalla vita di Puškin, La vecchia (parodia di Delitto
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Matt
Jul 31, 2010 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have kind of mixed feelings about this book, a collection of writings by an avant-garde Russian writer of the 30s, mostly. As a book, this collects some heterogeneous parts-- the larger part of it is Kharms' project "Incidences," which apparently is a planned sequence of prose shorts, most of which are absurd in a formal sense-- that is, there's no planned coherence between the parts, weird things happen for no reason, etc. I found most of these kind of stupid-- the absurd parts weren't absurd ...more
Michael Holland
Dec 07, 2014 Michael Holland rated it it was amazing
Absurdity abounds in 'Incidences.' Random inexplicable violence occurs to unprepared people, old women fall repeatedly from windows, a drinker and hi room is gradually reduced through logical progression into nothing; nothing is solid, nothing can be held in your hands for long (to quote a Sonic Youth song). This collection shows the stark and blackly humorous surrealism of living with no certainties; where you are prey to an incidence that could destroy, transform, or disappear you forever; wit ...more
David
Oct 15, 2015 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pre-war Russian absurdist shortest-of-stories collection from revolutionary Kharms. Mostly about people falling down. Kharms writes in simple short sentences and ties disparate elements together in surrealist fashion. Includes a completely daft play so smugly avant-garde I defy any reader to complete it.
Iida
Jan 31, 2016 Iida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vastikään lukemiini Harmsin kokoelmiin verrattuna tämä oli mielestäni parikin astetta synkempi. Vaikka mukana oli tuttuja, huvittavia, absurdeja pikku kertomuksia (tai epäkertomuksia) niin teksteissä oli myös paljon synkkää mielettömyyttä.
Valentyn Danylchuk
Sep 04, 2015 Valentyn Danylchuk rated it it was amazing
Кто-то скажет: "Чушь." Кто-то скажет: "Поток больного сознания."

А как по мне, вполне годное зеркало мира. Даже если не совсем плоское.

"Одна старуха от чрезмерного любопытства вывалилась из окна, упала и разбилась. Из окна высунулась другая старуха и стала смотреть вниз на разбившуюся, но от чрезмерного любопытства тоже вывалилась из окна, упала и разбилась. Потом из окна вывалилась третья старуха, потом четвертая, потом пятая.
Когда вывалилась шестая старуха, мне надоело смотреть на них, и я поше
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Matthew
Nov 04, 2008 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: laugh-riots
Dead old people falling from the sky. Intellectuals violently debating the merits of drinking vinegar. Rancid sausage. Children dissapearing. Bottomless trash cans.

Each little story in this book is a handful of sentences that is ape-shit crazy nonsense. Punishingly funny stuff. Crying hot tears funny.

The Soviets were so threatened by Daniil Kharm's absurdism that they arrested him and he starved in prison.

Yes. This ridiculous-ass stuff was considered threatening. Radical.

Perfect for reading alou
...more
Su-Ching
Nov 03, 2012 Su-Ching rated it liked it
Completely absurd and racked with violence. Despite that, there's a thread of a twisted sense of humor and a keen observation of the absurdity of life running in all these stories. The letter to his friend about getting married is brilliant in its circularity. A little too much to finish in one setting though so I'm sure I'll come back to it at some point!
Artemisia
Jan 22, 2012 Artemisia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
QUATTRO DIMOSTRAZIONI DI COME UNA NUOVA IDEA SCONVOLGA CHI NON VI SIA PREPARATO (estratto)

1.
LO SCRITTORE: Io sono uno scrittore.
IL LETTORE: Secondo me invece sei una m...a!
Lo scrittore resta per alcuni minuti come folgorato da questa nuova idea e cade esanime. Lo portano via.
E. Chainey (Bookowski)
Absürd Edebiyatın en nadide eserlerinden. Hemencecik okunabiliyor. Sevdim ben.
Outi
Odotin vieläkin villimpää menoa, enpä tiedä. Tykkäsin Harmsin perusvenäläisestä, selittävästä, absurdista tyylistä, mutta jotenkin kirjan koskettavuus jäi kuitenkin vähäiseksi. Tarinoissa oli joitakin helmiä ja joitakin selkeitä pettymyksiä.
Noora
Jul 23, 2012 Noora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: klassikot
Ei ihan niin hyviä juttuja kuin oletin. Joitain tosi nokkelia ja naurattavia, mutta suurin osa liian päätöntä, vaikka esim. nonsensesta pidänkin. vaikka monet pitävät ja kirjaa on kehuttu maasta taivaisiin, minulle se oli pettymys.
Eino
Jun 11, 2012 Eino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aivan uskomaton kirja. Harmsin novellien epäloogisuus on nikotiiniakin koukuttavampaa kultaa. Absurdius ja irrationaalisuus ovat läsnä jokaisessa novelissa, ja täytyy sanoa, että se toimii.
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Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev (Даниил Иванович Ювачёв) was born in St. Petersburg, into the family of Ivan Yuvachev, a well known member of the revolutionary group, The People's Will. By this time the elder Yuvachev had already been imprisoned for his involvement in subversive acts against the tsar Alexander III and had become a religious philosopher, acquaintance of Anton Chekhov during the latter's ...more
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