Will itself

From a Russian who began to write for children when, in the 1930's, his avant-garde adult poetry couldn't be published (and who died a political prisoner): a deceptively simple cumulative tale about a boy whose sled runs, one by one, into a hunter, a dog, a fox, and a hare, carrying them all together until they smash into a bear. "And since then,/I've heard it said,/Willie never/rides his sled.'' Vladimir Radunsky profiles the action, close up in the picture plane, on a cloud of windblown snow. First seen as a thoughtful lad gazing skyward, Will encounters the stolid hunter head-on, landing beneath him; the headlong journey spins ever more out of control as it hurtles on a collision course toward the big red bear. The dynamic action will intrigue little children, but this fable will most interest those old enough to appreciate the subtext and the powerful art.


“The Story of a Boy Named Will”, by Daniil Kharms & Vladimir Rudunski
translated by Jamey Gambrell © North-South Books • 1993


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