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The Absurd in Literature$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074097.001.0001

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Daniil Kharms as minimalist-absurdist

Daniil Kharms as minimalist-absurdist

(p.158) 6 Daniil Kharms as minimalist-absurdist
The Absurd in Literature

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses Daniil Kharms – Daniil Ivanovich Iuvachev in real life – a writer who was only able to gain limited local renown as an avant-garde eccentrist from Leningrad and a children's writer of the 1920s and the 1930s. However, he is also considered as the main example of a certain ‘Russian brand of absurdity’. The chapter shows the changes that occurred in Kharms's works, and shows that the boundaries between genres and the differences between fragment and whole are fluid in his works. It then looks at Kharms's use of the poetics of extremism, which he constantly adopted at various levels, and humour theory, which is considered as an essential approach to his work. The chapter also considers Kharms's writing, which can be closely connected to writers during and after his period.

Keywords:   Daniil Kharms, Russian brand, absurdity, poetics of extremism, humour theory

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