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  1. #31
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    Hey Guys, I dont know why I didnt notice this thread until now. I love Russian lit with a passion. Besides Fantasy and Sci-fi, its pretty much all I read. In fact, I'd argue The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest literary achievements of all time, and its ceartinly one of my favorite book of all time. I was blown away by it.

    Anyway, I was wondering if any of you guys can reccomend and good modern Russian authors. Ive mainly read "the greats", or most books at least 50 years old. Does any one know any good Russian authors of say the past 15 years or so? The most recent one I read was Victor Pelevin, and he was quite good.

  2. #32
    Sergei Lukaynenko

  3. #33
    There is also(of course) Isaac Asimov

  4. #34
    I always wanted to read War and Peace and just finished it.

    I appreciated glimpses into the aristocratic life in early 19th century Russia. I also enjoyed the points of view of the Russian military regarding Napoleon's invasion.

    I considered this work to have two major branches. One, an emotion filled drama comprised of several intriguing characters, and two, a fictional war story based on actual past occurrences. Tolstoy does an excellent job intertwining the both of these.

    Also present throughout the novel are philosophical ideas to ponder. The second epilogue is very thought-provoking.

  5. #35
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn

    Nice thread. Just finished rereading Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago, after a first read in the 1970s. I've seen the movie about 30 times or so (it's my favorite) and always considered the movie to be better. Upon the reread, I think I'd call them a draw now (the movie has better pacing and atmosphere, while the book excels at detailing/characterization and includes many events left out of the movie). I'm reading August 1914 by Solzhenitsyn right now and enjoy his descriptiveness. I'd like to start in on some of the 19th Century poets, but don't know where to begin. Any recommendations? Any suggestions for reading Russian poetry in English translation, given the loss of linguistic rhythm and meter that seems to always occur when translating poetry from one language to another?

  6. #36
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    I guess I should revive this thread to figure out which translators to go with.

    For someone who's read no Russian literature before, who would you go with. Who's your favorite, and are they your favorite because you read a more accessible translation prior and already understood, so this was just something new.

    I see two sides of the fence with Pevear and Volokhonsky, so I can't decide whether to go with them or Constance Garnett or other. Basically I care about getting the meaning behind the words and plot more than necessarily the "feel" of the books. The last thing I want is to get bogged down and distracted by the language so that I miss the story.

    If it matters, I plan to start with "Crime and Punishment"
    Last edited by chokipokilo; November 5th, 2010 at 10:55 PM.

  7. #37
    Registered User Hijinks's Avatar
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    I also would like to know what translators are good. Just started War and Peace, and I intend to read Crime and Punishment and the The Brothers Karamazov this winter. Anyone have any suggestions? So far I have been downloading the ebooks off of Project Gutenberg but I don't mind paying for a superior edition of these books.

  8. #38
    Registered User oceanworld's Avatar
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    Talking I'll try

    I haven't read any Russian Literature but I'm game. I'll have to check some out.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldanuumea View Post
    My best friend in high school gave me a copy of Crime and Punishment as a gift, and I quickly became fascinated by Raskolnikov and his idea that he was, as an intellectually superior person, above morality. It's been literally decades since I read it.....I believe I was only 17! But I do recall that I couldn't put the book down. The multiple names for many characters was, at first confusing, but that didn't get in the way of the story of a brutal murderer so driven by paranoia and then.......but no, I won't give away any more.

    After that, I read Anna Karenina and loved it, but somehow became bogged down in War and Peace. I returned to another of Dostoevsky's - The Brothers Karamazov - and I was captivated once more.

    It is the spirituality of Dostoevsky's work that drew me in. At the time, I had long considered entering a convent upon graduation, and so many of my favorite books dealt with the spiritual side of humanity.

    Even the sci-fi I was reading contained strong elements of that - works by Bradbury, Asimov, and Heinlein.

    I remember a history professor of mine.....he taught pre-Communist Russian History, and I recall how he stressed the deeply spiritual nature of the Russian people. He used to say there was tremendous significance in the reference to their country as "Mother Russia." The literature I was familiar with certainly reflected this.
    Crime And Punisment is one of my all-time favorite classics.

  10. #40
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    I love Russian literature, as you can see by my username (it's partly an homage to Chekhov the writer and Chekov the Star Trek character, which I thought would be funny). My favourite of his plays is The Seagull.

    I love Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment is actually my favourite novel of all time) and I also have Notes from the Underground and The Brothers Karamazov. By Tolstoy I have War and Peace, and want to read Anna Karenina when I have the time. I also want to read The Master and the Margarita by Bulgakov.

    I really love Russian culture and am struggling to learn the language - it's difficult! Currently I would say I speak it at about one on a level of one to five.

  11. #41
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    Asimov was indeed Russian, but he's not usually considered a Russian author because he generally wrote in English (and emigrated to the United States I believe).

  12. #42
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    Most non-Russian readers don't associate Russian liteature with humour but there can be an amusing vein of irony.

    I recommend Ilya Ilf & Yevgeni Petrov's The Twelve Chairs for example.

  13. #43
    Registered User Duncan Idaho's Avatar
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    I'm planning to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, when I'm finished with East of Eden... though, it's a little more current than what most of you guys are talking about.

  14. #44
    Let me be your gateway Chekhov's Avatar
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    I saw that in the library, but alas, I did not take it out.

    Next I want to read The Master and the Margarita.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen-Glover View Post
    Most non-Russian readers don't associate Russian liteature with humour but there can be an amusing vein of irony.
    Oh absolutely! That's one of the best aspects of The Brothers Karamazov, the humor. Its dry and very rooted in the characters, but its very obvious once you're looking for it.

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