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.