Book Review: “I am a Phenomenon Quite Out of the Ordinary”

“I am a Phenomenon Quite Out of the Ordinary”: The Notebooks, Diaries and Letters of Daniil Kharms selected, translated, and edited by Anthony Anemone and Peter Scotto was reviewed in the Slavic and East European Journal, 58.2 (Summer 2014). Reviewer Geoff Cebula (Princeton University) writes:

“The volume is unquestionably the most comprehensive biographical resource on Kharms available in English. . . . Avid Kharms readers will certainly enjoy the wealth of materials that this collection brings together and may be surprised and may be surprised by some aspects of his personality revealed here (for instance, his enthusiasm for chess problems). The book is also to be recommended to anyone with an interest in the Russian avant-grade or everyday life in 1920s and 1930s Leningrad. . . . The volume provides an excellent display of the style of an author whose dictum on writing applies equally well to his professional activities and his personal papers: ‘Always write with an interest and look on writing as a holiday’ (483).“