Book Review: Incidences

An avant-garde literati, Russian born Kharms combined an offbeat sense of humor with his innate knowledge of human behavior to create a unique storytelling style that got him arrested in 1931. Stalinís Soviet Union had little tolerance of Kharmsí absurdist tales which frequently took everyday events and twisted them into bizarre commentaries replete with political undertones. Labeled a subversive, Kharms was ordered to limit his publishing to childrenís books but eventually even they became intolerable to the Stalinist regime. He was arrested, sent to the gulag in 1941 and died of starvation in a Leningrad prison hospital. This body of work was never published during his lifetime and represents a decade of secret writings. Most are quite short yet their content is razor sharp as Kharms cutting if demented humor and observations somehow work with his spare writing style. An unusual read that allows the reader a rare window into the trials of daily life during tumultuous times as seen through the eyes of a visionary.    

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