I'm planning for a Russian themed reading list next year (July is not even over and I'm already looking ahead to next year. *sigh*) - A Year of Russian Reading 2008, as I call it.
For next year, I shall attempt to read as deeply and as widely from the pool of Russian literature available in English. In anticipation of this, I have been checking out reading materials.
That was when I came across the Art of the Novella range published by Melville House. I have picked out My Life by Anton Chekhov, First Love by Ivan Turgenev and The Devil by Leo Tolstoy. The range also includes The Eternal Husband by Fyodor Dostoevsky, but I already have another edition by my preferred Russian translators, so I skipped it.
[Picture Above: The three Russian novellas published by Melville House I have laid out at my desk at work. The Homer face is from a publicity package to tie-in with The Simpsons Movie. You have to admit - the Simpson yellow against the colours of the novellas just looks good.]
I've noticed some interesting forthcoming titles from the Art of the Novella series:
In August 2007, Melville House will release How the Two Ivans Quarrelled by Nikolai Gogol. I might already have this in one of my Gogol anthologies. So I might skip it, although the temptation to just buy a copy to complete the collection is just too tempting.
Arriving February 2008:
- Coxon Fund by Henry James
- Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson
- May Day by Scott Fitzgerald
But the one I have set my eye on is The Lemoine Affair by Marcel Proust. I have never seem this title before. Is anyone aware if there has been a prior English translation of this novella?
The Art of the Novella series is a good range to keep. The titles selected are interesting, and they have these minimalist monotone covers that are rather eye-catching. Most importantly, they are all in easily digestible novellas, which is good if you are hard pressed to finish your books - like myself.