Slipping Toward Nothingness

Watercolour from a 1950s poster discouraging drinking and smoking. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, an early Twentieth Century Russian writer, has become famous for his invisibility — as far as such a thing is possible. The scholar who pulled his writing from obscurity, Vadim Perelmuter, came across a scribbled line in the poet Gueorgui Chengueli’s notebook: “Today, the 28 December 1950, has died Sigizmund Dominikovich Krzhizhanovsky, author of fantastic literature and neglected genius. Not a line of his was…