Blue notebook no. 2


Lamenting the fact that I’m missing seeing Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe together on the same stage in an adaptation of a Daniil Kharms novella (i.e. what sounds like possibly the greatest thing to happen at BAM), I’ve been looking for some Kharms to read. This morning I came across a short story by Kharms called “Blue notebook no.2”, which so fantastically sums up my thesis on Sulpicia, albeit in an abstract way. In fact, if I had come across this earlier, this would’ve taken up the front page of my thesis. Actually, I suppose it still could for the bound copies. Hmm… Anyway, I’ve reproduced Kharms’ story below for your reading pleasure, but I’ve changed the masculine pronouns to feminine pronouns to align it to my purposes (though really I’d have to change the ‘redheaded’ part to something else too if I was really being picky – were there ginger Romans?). The accompanying photo above of a A/W 14/15 look from Romanian designer Ioana Ciolacu has absolutely nothing directly to do with Kharms or Sulpicia, I just really really like it. Though with its title of ‘Rorschach Dress’, I probably could come up with some connection (e.g. when you read the Sulpicia poems, what do you see?). And so, “Blue notebook no. 2 [the Sulpicia edition]”:

Once there was a redheaded [wo]man without eyes and without ears. [S]he had no hair either, so that [s]he was a redhead was just something they said.
[S]he could not speak, for [s]he had no mouth. [S]he had no nose either.
[S]he didn’t even have arms or legs. [S]he had no stomach either, and [s]he had no back, and [s]he had no spine, and no intestines of any kind. [S]he didn’t have anything at all. So it is hard to understand whom we are really talking about.
So it is probably best not to talk about [her] any more.

(Kharms’ text taken and adapted from here)