Jessica's Reviews > Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms

Today I Wrote Nothing by Daniil Kharms
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's review
Jun 09, 2010

bookshelves: abandoned, translation, to-read
Recommended to Jessica by: Blake

I tried with this one. I did. My brother recommended it to me. It’s Russian. It’s completely nonsensical. And I made it about 150 pages. I can’t do it anymore. Daniil Kharms is touted as an absurdist poet. He writes mostly in short vignettes. His quirky and bizarre writing just didn’t appeal to me. Here are a couple of quotes to give you a taste of his style:

A good example (i.e., something I liked):

There lived a redheaded man who had no eyes or ears. He didn’t have hair either, so he was called a redhead arbitrarily. He couldn’t talk because he had no mouth. He had no nose either. He didn’t even have arms or legs. He had no stomach, he had no back, he had no spine, and he had no innards at all. He didn’t have anything. So we don’t even know who we’re talking about. It’s better that we don’t talk about him any more.

An annoying example (i.e., representative of most of the book):

Tumbling Old Women
Because of her excessive curiosity, one old woman tumbled out of her window, fell and shattered to pieces. Another old woman leaned out to look at the one who’d shattered but, out of excessive curiosity, also tumbled out of her window, fell and shattered to pieces. Then a third old woman tumbled from her window, and a fourth, and a fifth. When the sixth old woman tumbled out of her window, I got sick of watching them and walked over to the Maltsev Market where, they say, a blind man had been given a knit shawl.

You might like this book if you’re really committed to Russian literature, if you like books without sense, plot, story, or characters, or if you are into absurdism.

Have you read this book? If so, did you like it? Do you think I should finish it?

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Reading Progress

07/31 marked as: to-read

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