1934, 2012: Rebellion, a story by Daniil Kharms for Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot in court
Daniil Kharms, who died in his cell in the psychiatric ward of Leningrad Prison no. 1 in 1942
What happened today was absurd. With the farcical Pussy Riot trial, and the two year sentence handed down to Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, the Russian state has once again demonstrated its famous capacity for stripping human life of all dignity and meaning. 
 
This is a story written by Daniil Kharms, who died in his cell in the psychiatric ward of Leningrad Prison no. 1 in 1942. Kharms was far less mad than his captors, who had accused him of treason. Like most of his work, it only survives because it was memorized by other prisoners.
 
  Rebellion
 
- Drink vinegar, gentlemen – said Shuyev.
No one gave him any reply.
 - Gentlemen!  - shouted Shuyev – I propose to you the drinking of vinegar!
Makaronov got up from his armchair and said: - I welcome Shuyev’s idea. Let’s drink vinegar.
Rastopyakin said: - I shall not be drinking vinegar.
At this point a silence set in and everyong began to look at Shuyev. Shuyev sat stony-faced. It was not clear what he was thinking.
Three minutes went by. Suchkov smothered a cough. Ryvin scratched his mouth. Kaltayev adjusted his tie. Makaronov jiggled his ears and his nose. And Rastopyakin, slumped against the back of his armchair, was looking as if indifferently into the fireplace.
Seven or eight more minutes went by.
Ryvin stood up and went out of the room on tiptoe.
Kaltayev followed him with his eyes.
When the door had closed behind Ryvin, Shuyev said: - So. The rebel has departed. To the devil with the rebel!
Everyone looked at each other in surprise, and Rastopyakin raised his head and fixed his gaze on Shuyev.
Shuyev said sternly: - He who rebels is a scoundrel!
Suchkov cautiously, under the table, shrugged his shoulders.
 - I am in favour of the drinking of vinegar – Makaronov said quietly and looked expectantly at Shuyev.
Rastopyakin hiccupped and, with embarrassment, blushed like a maiden.
 - Death to the rebels!  - shouted Suchkov, baring his blackish teeth.
 
 (1934?)
 
Translation by Neil Cornwell. from Incidences [Serpents Tail 1993]
 
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