« Elliott Smith | Main | Writer's voice, book's voice »

Summer of Classics

Remember what I've been saying about this year's Summer of Classics, and getting away from the 19th Century slog (Dickens, Hardy, Flaubert, Stendhal) that I went through in recent years, and reading something more modern and lean instead? Well, forget that. Somehow my mind has gotten stuck on reading Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Gogol's Dead Souls. Both 19th Century, both lengthy. But other than Gogol's great novella The Overcoat, I've never read any of the Russian masters, so this year I'll give them a try. Maybe I'll read some modernists next year.

May 30, 2012 in Books | Permalink

Comments

My book discussion group flirted with a few of the Russian writers with the idea that we'd build up to Crime and Punishment. We never got any traction though, and now we're giving six months to The Sound and the Fury.

I've read very little Russian literature. I should probably give it more effort, but there is so much out there to be read . . .

Posted by: Paul at May 30, 2012 12:33:40 PM

I've read a ton of Russian Lit, I think. My suggestion would be to trade Brothers Karamozov for Crime and Punishment, as not only is it a much better book, I find the themes it explores through the three brothers much more engaging than a murder.

Also very very highly recommended and on the border between classic and modern is "The Master and Margarita". One of the best books of the 20th century, and delightfully readable vs much other Russian Lit.

Posted by: brian at May 31, 2012 12:10:41 PM

Brian, thanks for the suggestion, but I'm sticking with C&P, starting tomorrow. If I like that, maybe I'll read the Karamazovs next year.

Posted by: Pete at Jun 3, 2012 11:22:13 AM