St Petersburg

Daniil Kharms
by Nikolay Zabolotsky, 1930s
Extracts from the diary of Daniil Kharms

An even more terrible time for me has begun. At Detizdat [the publisher of children's books] they have taken exception to some verses of mine and started persecuting me. I can no longer get published. They're not paying me money, which they justify with reference to some sort of incidental delays. I sense that something secret, evil is going on. We don't have anything to eat. We are starving. I know that my end has come…

June 1st , 1937

I still not do not despair. That must mean that I am hoping for something and it seems to me that my position is better than it actually is. Iron hands are pulling me into the hole.

September 28th , 1937

I am amazed at how strong are human beings. It's now the 12th of January, 1938. Our position has become much worse, but still we keep going. Lord, send us death with all haste. Few fall as low as I have fallen. There is one thing that cannot be doubted: I have fallen so low that now I can never get up again.

January 12, 1938

Our position has become even worse. I don't know what we are going to eat today. And as for what we're going to eat after that, I have absolutely no idea.

We are starving.

March 25, 1938