For those of you who wanted to know....

| | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (2) is the link to the list of Sparknote titles: Barnes &

And, to prove that I'm serious about my summer reading, I started Crime and Punishment after supper tonight. I've read almost NO Russian literature. Maybe the only thing Russian I've read is Anna Karenina. This will be a new experience.

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Mama T has a new summer reading plan. I wonder if this might be a start for High School home schoolers?... Read More

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Re Russian novels, Terry: keep your place in the book with a sheet of paper on which you can write down the names, so as to keep track of them. In my experience, which I admit is not vast, the greatest challenge in Russian literature is the characters' names. Somebody may be Mikhael Kraskin on his birth certificate, the son of Daniel Kraskin. His father calls him Mischa; his mother and sisters call him Mieko; his college friends call him some hilarious Russian word that sounds like part of his name and means sturgeon; the servants in his father's house call him Mikhael Danielovitch; and his old nurse calls him an affectionate diminutive that means dumpling or something. You can get very confused if you don't keep it all straight on paper.

I would have started with Russian short stories or plays (I especially suggest Anton Checkhov) rather than War and Peace. I read The Brothers Karamazov when I was sick with strep throat in the 6th grade but have been unable to finish any other Russian novel since.

whoops, I should have said Crime and Punishment, not War and Peace. what elinor said!

STOP your reading, please, and check who translated it. I highly, highly recommend any Russian translation by the wedded team of Pevear and Volkonsky. I believe they did C&P. They started as translators of exquisite emigre Russian Orthodox theology in France. Besides one being an anglophone and the other a Russian, they have a real ear(s?) for what Dostoyevsky is trying to convey. Other traslations are good. C. Garnet was one of the first, but she makes it all sound too clean and Victorian for me. Enjoy!

Mark, mine is just the Penguin Classics paperback--"translated with an introduction and notes by David McDuff."

But, wow! The part where the drunk gets Raskolnikov to take him home and there are the three children with "withered matchstick arms" and the crazy (who wouldn't be?) mother. Oh my.



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