Born Daniil Ivanovich Yuvachov he was the son of a St. Petersburg political, religious and literary figure, Daniil was to achieve limited local reknown as a Leningrad avant-garde eccentric and a writer of children's stories in the 1920s and 30s.
He was married twice (to Esther Rusakova and Marina Malich). His wives sometimes appear in those of his poems that are lyrical or erotic.
In 1931 Kharms was first arrested, then released to a spell of internal exile in Kharkov. This marked him. He lost all but his bravest friends, he could not get a job anywhere, and he was set up for destruction later. Arrested in 1941 he starved to death in a prison hospital in early 1942. He was only 37 at the time of his death.
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