The Lecture by Daniil Kharms

Pushkov said:

“What is woman? An engine of love,”–and immediately got punched in the face.

“What for?” asked Pushkov but, receiving no answer, continued:

“This is what I think: you have to roll up to women from below. Women love that, they only pretend they don’t.”

Here Pushkov was again socked in the face.

“What’s going on, comrades? Fine, if that’s the case, I won’t even talk!” said Pushkov but, after a quarter of a minute, continued:

“Women are arranged in such a way that they are all soft and moist.”

Here Pushkov again got socked in the face. Pushkov tried to look as if he didn’t notice anything and continued:

“If you sniff a woman…”

But here Pushkov got smashed in the face so hard that he grabbed his cheek and said:

“Comrades, it is absolutely impossible to lecture under such conditions. If this happens again, I won’t talk!”

Pushkov waited a quarter of a minute and continued:

“Where were we? Oh–yes! So: Women love to look at themselves. They sit down in front of the mirror totally naked…”

As he said that word he was punched in the face again.

“Naked,” repeated Pushkov.

“Pow!” they whacked him in the face.

“Naked!” shouted Pushkov.

“Pow!” he got punched in the face.

“Naked! Naked everywhere! Tits and ass!” shouted Pushkov.

“Pow! Pow! Pow!” they kept punching him in the face.

“Tits and ass with a washtub!” Pushkov was shouting.

“Pow! Pow!” the punches rained down.

“Tits and ass with a tail!” shouted Pushkov, spinning to avoid the punches.

“Naked nun!”

But then Pushkov was hit with such force that he lost consciousness and fell, as if mowed down, upon the floor.

12 August 1940; translated by Eugene Ostashevsky


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