Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Year of Russian Masters

I've just started on the third volume of The Proustian Epic, The Guermantes Way. But barely 20 pages into the book I found myself picking up Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master And Margarita. I first picked up Bulgakov in the university library six year ago. Now, re-reading the Richard Pevear/Larissa Volokhonsky translation, it feels like a new book. The carnivalesque energy is simulating.

If there is a theme to my 100 Books To Read List this year, it's probably a Russian inclination. There is something about the Russian masters that fascinated me - their tragedy, their passions, their despair and their faith. I thought this year will be a good year to finally acquaint myself further with the Russian masters.

I've picked up Dostoevsky's The Idiot twice - but never finished it. Nastasya Filipovna is one of the most compelling femme fatale I've ever encountered in literature. Perhaps, I tell myself, perhaps this year I'll finish The Idiot.

I've not read War and Peace, or Anna Karenina. I loved the short stories of Nikolai Gogol - and desire to read Dead Souls. And Chekhov, the master of human tragedy.

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