Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Harms: the poet in an age of change – Foundation “Russian world”

was born 110 years ago Daniil Kharms. Most people know him as a children’s poet, but first of all Harms – one of the most unique phenomena in the literary life of Russia. He is one of those writers whose work, will impress his contemporaries, it is a truly modern now, decades later.

Petersburg middle class

There are several versions of the birth of Daniel Ivanovic Harms, two of them, he told himself.

«… I was born twice. It happened like this.

My father married my mother in 1902, but I have my parents brought into the world only at the end of 1905, because the Pope wished that his child certainly born on New Year’s. Dad figured that conception should occur on April 1, and only on that day drove to my mother with a proposal to conceive a child, and so on. D. »

are described in the” Autobiography “, this version of the well known to the general reader.

But there is another, somewhat less believable, which he told friends only:

«I was born from eggs. There’s even a little sad not work out the misunderstandings. Went to congratulate Uncle, it was right after spawning, and my mother lay sick more. So he sees the cradle full of caviar. Uncle loved to eat. He smeared on my sandwich and had poured a glass of vodka. Fortunately, at the time I managed to stop him, then I long to collect … Parents long avoided to put me in a corner, so I stuck to the wall ».

Daniel Harms

In short, how and when (dates had the same confusion) was born exactly Harms, we do not know. We know that to celebrate his birthday, he loved to January 1st.

But the family Dani Harms-Yuvachёva we know quite a lot. The family was quite ordinary – St. Petersburg middle class. The mother of an impoverished noble family, his father – the family court servants. An unusual way of life was the father of events which would be enough, perhaps, for a few biographies.

The service in the Navy – passion leftist ideas – Shlisselburg and Sakhalin – CHRISTIANI craze – a pilgrimage to Palestine – participated in the salons Merezhkovskys Tower and Vyacheslav Ivanov, familiarity with Leo Tolstoy – Service in the Office of the savings banks. These are, if only very briefly, the main stages of the life of Ivan Pavlovich Yuvachёva.

Subsequently, the revolutionary past of his father, as his accounting skills, time and again helped to Harms, who in life was a man of fairly passive and infantile, moreover, difficulty fitting into the Soviet reality. A spiritual zeal of father and son was passed – oddly enough, according to the diary, Kharms was a very religious man.

Danya Yuvachёv had not received higher education. But he finished school one of the best in St. Petersburg. German Petrischule was the oldest schools in the capital that existed at the Lutheran Church on Nevsky Prospect.

However, school success Dani Yuvachёva were quite modest – to a certain point, it seems, it was simply not interested in learning. But he knew how to kink and loved: «What he brought to the class horn and managed to play it during the lesson. It urged strict teacher not to put him to deuce – “not to offend an orphan.” Under the stone stairs of the house where the family lived Dani Yuvacheva, he lodged an imaginary beloved “mutterhen” and led to her long talks in the presence of the affected neighbors and school friends, begging cute “mutterhen” do not worry about it », – recalled one of his classmates.

By the way, this skill and passion for practical jokes then Harms uses with a more serious purpose: apparently, he was able to simulate schizophrenia and thus obtain legal exemption from service in the Red Army .

Harms – so charming

School Harms ended not in St. Petersburg. Due to the poor performance of his parents converted to the Tsar (Baby) village, where he studied in 1922-24. Here comes Yuvachёv city Shchegolev and young eccentric, these qualities only develop with time. Even then, in his appearance there are characteristic features: the perfect suit, tube socks.

At the end of the school Harms, apparently, did not have a clear picture of the future path of life – history, common in our days. Under the influence of relatives, he entered the 1st Leningrad elektrotehnikum, but gave up his studies again soon, being unalloyed humanities. This episode can be silent at all if not for one thing: it is a statement of acceptance on to study first appeared signature Yuvachёv-Harms. As he later explained Harms, his nickname, in fact became the second name comes from the English or French charm charme – charm, charm.

Portrait of D. Harms works Alisa Poret

During the first months in Petrograd Yuvachёv-Harms begins to speak in poetry readings – wherever he could, the benefit of poetry readings in the newly renamed Leningrad were frequent and demand the public.

Public reading, participation in the productions and the creation of various art associations – this is the basic content of public life Harms in the 20s.

All Harms fully immersed in the poetic life of Leningrad. Comes in a newly recreated Union poets, met with the young poets, as well as he enthusiastically futurism: Alexander Vvedensky, Leonid Lipavsky.

It was a real young poetic fraternity. Drinking, partying with the girls and, of course, read poems. In short, the real bohemian life.

Together with new friends Harms becomes a party created Futurist poet, esthete and graphomaniac Alexander Tufanov Order zaumnik.

abstruse, otherwise – “senseless”, poetry by Harms goes something like this:

Babalu boy

tresten Sponge

hand Saratov in the soap leave

raw Cedeno

schenisha Valga

curly nose

with a handkerchief shod –

hood in balls

slide tram

Vladimir across


syrundu piles

to be rude Tartar

the window.

(1925 g of.)

Later appears commonwealth “Chinar-zaumnik” (philosophical and poetic circle), and some time later – the famous Oberiu association (Association of Real Art), corporate identity which becomes a grotesque illogic and absurdity. And everywhere Harms plays one of the first violins.

It is in the heart of the young poetic life of Leningrad. Among the literary site – Nikolai Z, Nikolay Oleynikov and Yuri Vladimirov, as well as “masters” Mikhail Kuzmin, Nikolai Klyuev.

It is appreciated Harms and familiarity with Kazimir Malevich, who writes on the death of one of his strongest poems. Already recognized as an artist, the creator of Suprematism, Malevich was a theorist of art, and that is where their interests converged with young Leningrad poets.

High Clown

were among acquaintances Harms and literature (and, it seems, not only literary) madmen like the world’s great poet Constantine Olimpova.

Harms generally appreciated abnormalities. For example, he willingly drove crazy familiarity with the city, if they were to him something interesting. That seems to be in an abnormal, paradox, and he saw some kind of puzzle that needs to be decoded. «I am only interested in” nonsense “; only that has no practical meaning. I am interested in your life just ridiculous manifestation … », – he wrote in his” Diary ».

According to the memoirs of contemporaries, with strangers Harms was stressed polite. In communicating with friends – constant slapstick. Life is a constant game (as in poetry – a play on words and images).

Poster poetic evening oberiutov “Three Left Hours” 1928 g of.

Such was the spirit of the century – the young poet-futurist landed scandals and pretentiousness. It is said in the first public soiree head formalist Viktor Shklovsky said oberiutov disappointed: «Oh, you even scandal arrange failed to». By the way, the young poetic group declare ex cathedra his aesthetic manifesto and read the first verse, the public presented by none other than Vladimir Mayakovsky. The audience took their cool, but Mayakovsky oberiuty like.

However, there was also a third Harms, drop-in “Diary” – vulnerable and somehow childish cynical at the same time, suffering his first love (Esther Rusakova, who later became his first wife).

«Hedgehog” and “Siskin»

oberiutov was given a bit of time: from the end of the 20′s begin to blow quite different winds. In 1930, already under their persecution in the press. It became clear that officially exist as a literary group impossible. However, to do something it was necessary – after all, the young poets, too, have something to eat.

The solution was found: in 1928 in Leningrad, organized literary edition children’s magazine “Hedgehog” (with the application for pre-school children ” Siskin “). Circulations were large fees – quite good, also did not have to imitate the beginner dominate “older” poets of the aesthetic taste of the era. To cooperate chief editor Nikolai Oleynikov invites Harms with Vvedensky. In poetry, published in the “Hedgehog” and “Chizhe”, and knows most of Harms.

Cooperation with children’s magazines has enabled Harms continue to write, but a public literary life was essentially over. But in children’s poetry Harms was able to reach the heights of poetic madness that makes his work truly distinctive.

Do you know that under?

Do you know that the Ministry of Defense?

Do you know that REM?

What does morem- Ocean

All is with a gun?

– Well! Well! Well! Well!

Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!

Well, with the club,

Well, with a whisk,

Well still here and there,

And with a loaded gun –

It’s just nonsense!

(«Liar” 1930 g of.)

However, and children’s literature will soon fall under the ideological scope of criticism: the Soviet system becomes sufficiently totalitarian to overlook such an important thing as the proper upbringing of children.

«Main in Kharms and Vvedensky – is brought to the absurd, divorced from any practical life themes that resemble the child from reality, lull the class consciousness of the child. It is clear that in our conditions of acute class struggle – a class-hostile, counterrevolutionary propaganda », – wrote Olga Bergholz. She was later repressed.

Famine and Death

1931 – the arrest, and then link Harms Kursk. Times were still not as severe as in 1937, conditions are quite tolerable, and continued long link (communication helped his father), but because for months Harms Kursk were painful greater provincial boredom. But this is where the best examples are born Kharms’s prose – perhaps better, they wrote.

On his return Harms continues his bohemian life. Of course, a lot of recognition was not, but there were fans, lover, friend. Harms became fashionable even in a small circle of Leningrad philologists. It is compared with Velimir Khlebnikov.

E. Harms. Avtoprortret. Figure g of 1933.

However, there was almost no literature orders, and it is for marrying in 1934, the year in Marina Malich Harms was an ordeal. Save, and just more or less rationally handle money, he does not seem able to do.

In 1937, the children’s publishing in Leningrad was defeated, many employees, including friends Harms Vvedensky, Oleynikov, Z, were repressed. Harms makes a complete oblivion, absolute non-participation in public life. However, orders almost not at all, in the late 30′s all the more likely to occur days when Harms and his wife had nothing to eat.

«Dear Alexander,

I heard you kopish money and already amassed thirty-five thousand.

What? Why save money?

Why do not you share what you have with those who do not even have a completely redundant pairs of trousers? After all, what is money? I have studied this issue. I have photos of the running of banknotes in rubles, three, four and even five rubles dignity. I heard about the bank notes, which contain the time up to 30 rubles! But why save them? After all, I’m not a collector. I always despised the collectors who collect stamps, feathers, buttons, onions and so on. D. This is silly, stupid and superstitious people. I know, for example, that the so-called “coin collectors” are those that save money, have a superstitious custom of putting them, as if you thought what? Not at the table, not in a box, and in the book …! How do you like it? But you can take the money, go with them to the store and exchanged for, say, to the soup (this is a meal) or sauce mullet (this is also sort of bread).

No, Alexander, you’re not nearly as stupid people like me, and kopish money and do not change them on various other things. Forgive me, dear Alexander, but it is stupid! You just became stupid, living in this province. It must be no one to even talk about. I am sending you my portrait so that you can even see the front of a smart, advanced, intelligent and beautiful face.

Your friend Daniil Kharms ».

(letter A. Vvedensky, August 1940 g of.)

exhausted physically and mentally – in that state Harms meets the outbreak of war. Information about the “schizophrenia” relieved of his military service. He was depressed, with the environment of the city is growing fear for himself and his wife. He asks her to run away from Leningrad – but where? No clear plan Harms was not.

The arrest Harms says enough. The poet was convicted of defeatist propaganda, but at the same time, the insane because of schizophrenia. Compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital, Harms died February 2, 1942.


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