Daniil Kharms was an early Soviet-era surrealist and absurdist poet, writer and dramatist.
He was born in St. Petersburg, into the family of Ivan Yuvachev, a member of the revolutionary group The People's Will. By the time of his son's birth, the elder Yuvachev had already been imprisoned for his involvement in subversive acts against Tsar Alexander III and had become a philosopher.
Daniil invented the pseudonym Kharms while attending Saint Peter's School. There are some assumptions that this might have been influenced by his fascination with Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, as the two words (Holmes and Harms) sound vaguely similar in Russian, as well as a number of other theories. While at Saint Peter's, he learned the rudiments of both English and German, and it may have been the English "harm" and "charm" that he incorporated into "Kharms". Throughout his career, Kharms used variations on this name and the pseudonyms DanDan, Khorms, Charms, Shardam, and Kharms-Shardam, among others.
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