The Man with the Black Coat: Russia's Literature of the Absurd

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George Gibian
Northwestern University Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 258 pages
10 Reviews
This book brings together works by two of the outstanding talents of Soviet literature, Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky. It discloses a little-known tradition of absurdism that persisted during the Stalinist period, a testimony to both the hardiness of the Russian imagination in the face of socialist realism and the vitality of an important cultural and literary tradition.

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Review: The Man with the Black Coat: Russia's Literature of the Absurd

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

Mostly comprised of Daniil Kharms' parable-like 'nonsense' stories, this book displays the Russian absurdists' (failed) attempt to rescue imagination and individuality from a national literature that ... Read full review

Review: The Man with the Black Coat: Russia's Literature of the Absurd

User Review  - Andrew - Goodreads

"My nonsense hurts a little" - there's no more accurate assessment of these treasures than that quote from the treasures themselves. Because nonsense does hurt; absurdity may at least be a stab at ... Read full review


The Cashier 45 Fedya Davydovich
Symphony No 2 53 An Unsuccessful Show 54
Petrakov 65 A Lynching
A Suite 73 A Young Man Who Astonished
The Man with the Black Coat
The Notebook 100 A Letter 101 From Kharmss
A Fairy Tale 181 A Childrens Story 183 How Kolka
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About the author (1997)

Daniil Kharms was born in 1906. Kharms was arrested in 1931 for 'deflecting the people from the building of socialism by means of "trans-verse" verses' and told that he could only publish writing for children. By the end of the decade, even his writing for children was considered unfit for publication and in 1941 Kharms was re-arrested and

Born in 1904 in Saint Petersburg, Alexander Vvedensky's move into the Russian avant-garde came through his appointment to the State Institute of Artistic Culture, where with the writer Danill Kharms, he developed the neologist poetry associated with the OBERIU movemnt, (The Union of the Real Art). Sentenced to internal exile, he died on a train to prison in 1941.

Gibian is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at Cornell University.

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