Monday, December 16, 2013

Russian Literature 2014



I just found a challenge (here) that may push me to finish a personal project I've been putting off for years now.  One of the first blog events I ever happened upon was a challenge to read Russian literature.  Because I am often overly optimistic but always methodical, I promptly went to the library and checked out and read several books on Russian history, made a list in chronological order of what I felt I should read, and started reading. 

I started with The Complete Prose Tales of Pushkin, some of which I enjoyed and some of which underwhelmed me.  I moved on to The Collected Tales of Gogol, with which I had the same experience and attempted but couldn't get into Dead Souls.   I read and enjoyed A Hero for Our Time by Lermontov but got frustrated at this point feeling like I was stuck in Russian Literature land to the exclusion of everything else.  So I quit.  Since then I have read Lolita, which I unexpectedly loved, Crime and Punishment, which I liked but didn't love, and Anna Karenina, which I absolutely loved and want to re-read.  I've also read a few mysteries by Boris Akunin and a couple of poems by Anna Akhmatova.   I still have on my shelf to read:  Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, First Love by Turgenev,  The Brothers K, War and Peace, Dr Zhivago, and a book entitled Natasha's Dance by Orlando Figes, which is a history of Russian culture.   I also want to read more of Anna Akhmatova's poetry, Oblomov by Goncharov, and the dystopic novel We by Zamyatin. 

With all these grandiose desires reigned in now by experience, I am going to sign up for the 2014 Russian Literature Challenge, Level One.  If I read more than three, Hallelujah,  and if I read only one, Amen. 

5 comments:

o said...

Loves great!

I had same experience of Gogol - did like some short stories, but not others, but I still can't get into Dead Souls. If I only read one next year (and I hope that's not the case as I'm hosting this event!) it will be Dead Souls.

And I need to re-read Crime and Punishment. I liked it well enough, apart from the end.

Amy said...

Maybe someday I'll attempt Dead Souls again. I feel like I read Crime and Punishment twice because I would listen to an audiobook chapter before reading the same chapter in the print book. It helped me follow the novel a lot better and made me catch things I might otherwise have missed.

thecuecard said...

Sounds like you've done a great job making a dent on Russian Lit. You definitely should stick with a challenge. I read some of Gogol, Pushkin and Lermontov etc. in a college course once. You're on a roll finishing Anna K. I just The Light Between Oceans which you read recently. Cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

Satchel said...

Try Babi Yar by Anatoly Kuznetsov (the uncensored version) . . . a document as novel from WWiI.
Satchel

Amy said...

Thanks! Will look for it.