Biography Daniil Ivanovich Kharms

Daniil Ivanovich Kharms

photo of Daniil Ivanovich Kharms
  • Time Period1905 - 1942
  • Place
  • CountryRussia

Poet Biography

Born Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachov he was the son of a St. Petersburg political, religious and literary figure, Daniil was to achieve limited local reknown as a Leningrad avant-garde eccentric and a writer of children's stories in the 1920s and 30s.

His short stories while humorous, were considered vulgar, violent and irrational. Shaped with a strong sense of narrative form, his stories moved quickly and effortlessly to their conclusion. Kharm's work has been categorized with popular Russian humor vaudeville, circus clowns, folk drama, and low-class raunchy jokes.

None of Kharms stories were published in his lifetime except a few he was able to disguise as children's literature. Kharms was considered an absurdist writer in that he demonstrated in his stories the meaninglessness of human existence and at the same time the desire of people to have meaning in their lives.

In 1931 Kharms was first arrested, then released to a spell of internal exile in Kharkov. This marked him. He lost all but his bravest friends, he could not get a job anywhere, and he was set up for destruction later. Arrested in 1941 he starved to death in a prison hospital in early 1942. He was only 37 at the time of his death.