Daniil Charms – Incendio
edited by Simonetta De Bartolo
preface by Paolo Nori
Introduction by Valerij Sažin
“It’s hard to talk about Charms to someone who doesn’t know anything about it. Charms is a long thing with underfoot. The literature of the absurd before the literature of the absurd, twenty years before Beckett and Ionesco.”
“Danja was strange. It was probably hard to be weirder than him.”
Marina Malič, wife of Charms
THE BOOK: Incendio collects works and illustrations by Charms, mostly unpublished in Italy, including those erotic writings that, considered pornographic, led to the author’s arrest. Stories with unpredictable implications, surreal poems, excerpts from diaries and a comedy with bizarre characters. A kaleidoscope of indomitable images that are grafted onto nonsense, in the total rejection of convention and conformism, with a dry and grotesque poetics and the heterodox and dazzling style typical of Russian Dada surrealism.
Daniil Charms, an eccentric St. Petersburg dandy, who used to recite his poems with the inevitable pipe sitting on a cupboard, is one of the greatest Russian poets and writers of the twentieth century, one of the founders of the avant-garde Oberiu group. When, at the age of 37, he died in prison in besieged Leningrad, only his children’s texts had been printed. It was to wait almost half a century for the rest of his vast oeuvre to begin to be published.
Daniil Charms (St. Petersburg 1905 – Leningrad 1942) pseudonym of Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachev, Soviet writer, poet and playwright. After a brief imprisonment in 1931, accused of producing anti-Soviet literature, he was arrested in 1941 and imprisoned in the Leningrad Psychiatric Detention Hospital, where he starved to death in February 1942 during the Nazi siege of the city. Already translated in Italy are the collections Casi (Adelphi, 1991), Disastri (Marcos y Marcos, 2011), The Man Who Knew How to Make Miracles (Il Saggiatore, 2014), the short story Professor Trombetti (Comma 22, 2015) and several children’s books.
Simonetta De Bartolo (Rome, 1961) graduated in Russian Language and Literature at the University of Rome La Sapienza in 1987 with a thesis on the avant-garde Oberiu group and in particular on the poetics of Daniil Charms. He has been living and working in Moscow for many years.
Paolo Nori (Parma, 1963) Writer and translator. A graduate in Russian literature, he has published novels and essays, including Bassotuba non c’è (1999), The Russians are crazy (2019) and What a displeasure (2020). He has translated and edited works by Russian authors, including Pushkin, Charms, Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoevsky.
Valery Sazhin (Leningrad, 1946) Literary historian, archivist, source researcher. Author of works on the history of Russian literature of the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. Curator of the first complete collection of Daniil Charms’ works in Russia, based on materials from the writer’s archive.
edited and translated: Simonetta De Bartolo
preface: Paolo Nori
Introduction: Valerij Sažin
Price: 20,00 €