Daniil Kharms

Now I want to sleep, but I have no intention of doing so. What I shall do is take paper and pen and write. I feel in myself a terrible force. I thought the whole thing through yesterday: it will be a short story about a miracle-worker who lives in our times and does not perform miracles. He knows he is a miracle-worker and can perform any miracle he likes, but he does not do so. When he is forced to move from his flat, he knows he has only to wave his little finger and the flat will remain his, but he does not do so; instead, he submissively leaves, and goes to live outside the city in a shack. This shack he is capable of turning into a beautiful house of brick, but he does not do so: he continues living in the shack and eventually dies, not having performed, in the course of his entire life, a single miracle.

 

from “The Old Woman”

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