Michael Zeleny (larvatus) wrote,
Michael Zeleny

sic semper excrementis!

    Born Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev (Даниил Иванович Ювачёв) on December 30th (17th in the old style) of 1905, Daniil Kharms originally spelled out his favorite pseudonym in Latin script as Daniel Charms, deriving it simultaneously from charm, harm, and dharma. Best known in his lifetime as a prolific writer of children’s books, he reserved most of his avant-garde writings for posthumous publication under perestroika, escaping the Great Terror of the late Thirties, only to starve to death in a prison hospital on February 2nd of 1942, charged with spreading defeatist propaganda.
    It would be impossible to overestimate the influence of Kharms’ definitive epitome of defeatist propaganda on the evolution of Russian performance art.

Четыре иллюстрации того, как новая идея огорашивает человека, к ней не подготовленного Four Illustrations of How a Novel Idea Confounds a Man Unprepared for It
Писатель: Я писатель!
Читатель: А по-моему, ты говно!
(Писатель стоит несколько минут, потрясённый этой новой идеей, и падает замертво. Его выносят.)
Writer: I am a writer!
Reader: And according to me, you are shit!
(The writer stands still for a few minutes, reeled by this novel idea, and drops in a dead faint. He is carried out.)
Художник: Я художник!
Рабочий: А по-моему, ты говно!
(Художник тут же побледнел, как полотно,
И как тростинка закачался
И неожиданно скончался,
Его выносят.)
Artist: I am an artist!
Worker: And according to me, you are shit!
(The artist promptly turned white as a sheet,
And swayed like a reed,
And abruptly expired,
He is carried out.)
Композитор: Я композитор!
Ваня Рублев: А по-моему, ты говно!
(Композитор, тяжело дыша, так и осел. Его неожиданно выносят.)
Composer: I am a composer!
Vanya Rublev: And according to me, you are shit!
(The composer, breathing hard, sank down. He is abruptly carried out.)
Химик: Я химик!
Физик: А по-моему, ты говно!
(Химик не сказал больше ни слова и тяжело рухнул на пол.)
Chemist: I am a chemist!
Physicist: And according to me, you are shit!
(The chemist said not one more word and fell hard to the floor.)
Даниил Хармс, 13 апреля 1933 года ― translated by MZ
    As we see, an equally emphatic reassessment, not so much contradictory as it is complementary, suffices to countermand an emphatic arrogation of status. It would be superfluous to belabor how well this elementary principle continues to work.
Tags: russian, translation, webex

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