The Night Thread of Daniil Kharms

Daniil Kharms was a native of Leningrad who published children’s books. He was also involved in the avant garde surrealist movement and his short stories and plays were published in underground magazine. Arrested many times, he finally perished in prison during the Siege of Leningrad. The following is titled “The start of a very nice summer day”

No sooner had the cock crowed than Timofey jumped out of his window onto the roof and frightened everyone who was passing down on the street at that time. Khariton the peasant stopped, picked up a stone and shied it at Timofey. Timofey disappeared somewhere. “What a dodger!” cried the human herd, and a certain Zubov took a run and rammed his head into a wall. “Oo-er!” exclaimed a peasant woman with a swollen cheek. But Komarov gave this woman a swift left-right and the woman ran off howling into a gateway. Fetelyushin walked past and laughed. Komarov went up to him and said: “As for you, you fat lump!” and struck Fetelyushin in the stomach. Fetelyushin supported himself against the wall and started to hiccup. Romashkin spat out of his window from above, trying to hit Fetelyushin. At this point, not far away, a big-nosed woman was beating her child with a trough. And a young, plump mother was rubbing her pretty little girl’s face against a brick wall. A small dog, which had broken its hind leg, was sprawled on the pavement. A small boy was eating something revolting from a spittoon. There was a long queue for sugar at the grocery shop. Women were swearing loudly and shoving each other with their bags. Khariton the peasant, having just downed some methylated spirit, was standing in front of the women with his trousers undone and uttering bad language.

In this way a very nice summer’s day started