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

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Northwestern University Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 258 pages
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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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Contents

The Cashier 45 Fedya Davydovich
49
Symphony No 2 53 An Unsuccessful Show 54
59
Petrakov 65 A Lynching
66
A Suite 73 A Young Man Who Astonished
86
The Man with the Black Coat
99
The Notebook 100 A Letter 101 From Kharmss
120
A Fairy Tale 181 A Childrens Story 183 How Kolka
187
The Oberiu Manifesto
245
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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.

George Gibian was Goldwin Smith Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. His honors include Fulbright, Guggenheim, American Philosophical Society, and Rockefeller Foundation fellowships. He was the author of The Man in the Black Coat: Russia s Lost Literature of the Absurd, The Interval of Freedom: Russian Literature During the Thaw, and Tolstoj and Shakespeare. He was the editor of the Norton Critical Editions of Tolstoy s Anna Karenina and War and Peace, and Gogol s Dead Souls, and of the Viking Penguin Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader. Professor Gibian s articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, the Christian Science Monitor, and Newsday, among others.

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