Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Year Of Russian Readings 2008

The Objective: From 1st January 2008 to 31st December 2008, to (re)read anything Russian, or Russian-related - from any genre, any subject, any period, any author, any length.

Why? Because it is fun - because it is the only worthwhile reason for doing anything for its own rewards.

If anyone else is interested in reading some Russian for 2008, please join in for the Russian Reading Challenge hosted by Ex Libris.

Visit the Russian Reading Challenge blog.

Dark Orpheus's A Year Of Russian Readings 2008:

Just a little disclaimer -- this is an aspirational list -- this means I hope to finish as many titles on the list as possible, but life and other commitments makes it impossible to read everything. Still, just going to try to read as much as possible.



2008: And So It Begins


  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    [translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky]
    [01/01/2008 ~

  2. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

  3. The Devil Leo Tolstoy

  4. The Cossacks Leo Tolstoy

  5. The Kreutzer Sonata Leo Tolstoy

  6. Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy

  7. Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida Edited by Robert Chandler

  8. Nikolai Gogol by Vladimir Nabokov

  9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

  10. Lectures on Russian Literature Vladimir Nabokov

  11. Red Cavalry Isaac Babel

  12. Give Me Songs For Lovers Irina Denezhkina

  13. The Idiot Fyodor Dostoevsky

  14. Demons Fyodor Dostoevsky

  15. The Double and The Gambler Fyodor Dostoevsky

  16. The Eternal Husband and Other Stories Fyodor Dostoevsky

  17. Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky

  18. The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    [translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky]

  19. The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History Isaiah Berlin

  20. Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865-1871 by Joseph Frank

  21. Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881 Joseph Frank

  22. A Hero of Our Time Mikhail Lermontov

  23. The Heart of a Dog Mikhail Bulgakov

  24. A Dead Man’s Memoir Mikhail Bulgakov

  25. Tales of Belkin and Other Prose Writings Alexander Pushkin

  26. First Love Ivan Turgenev

  27. Virgin Soil Ivan Turgenev

  28. Sketches from a Hunter's Album Ivan Turgenev

  29. The Complete Short Novels Anton Chekhov

  30. Stories Anton Chekhov

  31. A Life in Letters Anton Chekov

  32. Sakhalin Island Anton Chekhov

  33. Oblomov Ivan Goncharov

  34. The Enchanted Wanderer & Selected Tales Nikolai Leskov

  35. Eugene Onegin Alexander Pushkin

  36. The Queen of Spades and Other Stories Alexander Pushkin

  37. Boris Godunov and Other Dramatic Works Alexander Pushkin

  38. Dead Souls Nikolai Gogol

  39. The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
    [translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky]

  40. The Funeral Party Ludmila Ulitskaya

  41. Medea and Her Children Ludmila Ulitskaya

  42. Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak

  43. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov

  44. The Slynx Tatyana Tolstaya
    [translated by Jamey Gambrell]

  45. White Walls: Collected Stories Tatyana Tolstaya
    [translated by Antonina W. Bouis & Jamey Gambrell]

  46. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  47. Moscow to the End of the Line Venedikt Erofeev

  48. Death and the Penguin Andrey Kurkov

  49. We Yevgeny Zamyatin

  50. Petersburg Andrei Bely

  51. Envy Yuri Olesha

  52. Death and the Penguin Andrey Kurkov

  53. And Quiet Flows the Don Mikhail Sholokhov

  54. Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetayeva & Rainer Maria Rilke

  55. Peter the Great Robert K. Massie

  56. St Petersburg: A Cultural History Solomon Volkov

  57. Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-Tourist Daniel Kalder

2007: The Warm-Up

  1. My Life Anton Chekhov
    [translated by Constance Garnett]
    [27/11/2007 ~

  2. Fathers And Sons Ivan Turgenev
    [translated by Richard Freeborn]
    [14/11/2007 ~ 24/11/2007]

20 comments:

Chris said...

Phew! That's heavy! I think I may tackle War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Idiot next year...if I can think of another, I may sign up for The Russian Reading Challenge, but I'm not committing yet ;)

Dark Orpheus said...

Psst...The Night Watch series are Russian too. And there's 3 books in the series. :)

But 4 books in 12 months -- that's the most do-able deadline for any challenge so far.

indigo said...

I swear...this has got to be the MOST INTIMIDATING reading list EVER. While I've heard of some of them, I've only barely made it past chapter 1 of War and Peace (one of those books to be read before I die),never mind the rest!! Any easy fairy tale I can start with...haha! I'm not kidding! :-P

Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

So you're going to read one book a week? You rock!!! Will you have time for non-Russian readings?

Dark Orpheus said...

Indigo It's also one of the most ambitious project I have ever attempted. Hah! I never make things easy for myself. :)

Heather Of course not -- I need a life. :)

I'm drawing up a list of books to pick from. The goal is to read as many from this list as possible.

My motto is: Aim High. So if you do fall short, you don't fall that low.

Ex Libris said...

Wow! Fantastic list!! We share a number of titles, but you certainly have me beat :) Think I'll make a trip to Half Price Books tonight to see if I can find some of the titles and authors you've listed that I don't have.

stefanie said...

So are you going for all Russian all the time? That's a hefty reading list! And probably really depressing too ;)

Matt said...

You're hardcore! :) This list reminds me of the first two years of graduate work, devouring them all down without giving much thought. Several of these I keep revisiting: Crime and Punishment (reading and comparing translations), Anna Karenina, Resurrection, Lectures on Russian Literature, and Dead Souls.

I have yet to post my reading list but I'll start from your list as a blueprint (which is very exhausted) and work from there.

I have never read The Cossacks...so that might be a good starting point. I'm also curious about The Funeral Party. I'm grim. :)

Dark Orpheus said...

Ex Libris Remember: it's an aspirational list. It's not possible to read all the titles unless I intend to stay in bed for 365 days. :)

But please feel free to pick from the list.

Stefanie Knowing me, I'll probably be reading other stuff with the Russians. But no way can I do Russian all year round. I think I will kill myself with the despair and the depression -- all that beating of chest and vodka.

Matt What can I say? I think I was probably a red-headed Russian in my past life. :)

I read Gogol's "Taras Bulba" last year and it got me interested in the Cossacks -- the archetypal Russian wildman. Very romantic.

Actually, I think "The Funeral Party" may be ironically humorous.

iliana said...

Wow, what a list. I've only read one book (Lolita) from this one. I never realized how few Russian books I've read. This could be a great way to fix that problem but I admit I'm a bit intimidated by this challenge too.

Dark Orpheus said...

Iliana Don't let the pretentious list here fool you. The Russians are a lot more fun than people realise. Please, do join us - you have a whole year to play. :)

Eva said...

My list (in a draft post so far) has a ridiculous amount of books as well. I'm calling it a pool instead of a list. :)

Dark Orpheus said...

Eva I like it. A Reading Pool, where you dip in and occasionally skinny dip. :)

Melanie said...

You've talked me into joining this challenge! And Ulitskaya is great.

Matt said...

I have been aware of The Adolescent by Dostoevsky, and also A Dead Man's Memoir by Bulgakov. I just added to my list.

2008 will be Year of Russia! :)

Dark Orpheus said...

>Melanie Your comment on Ultitskaya is reassuring, thanks. I'm looking forward to her books ever since I found her books in the library.

Matt Yay! Don't you get that itch to just start reading some of the books on the list though? I know I am.

Carl V. said...

How serendipitous. I just received a review copy of the book Worlds Apart from SQT which is a collection of Russian science fiction and fantasy short stories.

danielle said...

This is a great list. I will have to print it out. Did you post it to the blog Ex Libris set up? It'd be great to have all those lists in one central place.

Dark Orpheus said...

Carl Are you reviewing on our blog then? Actually, is it any good? All I know about Russian SF is the Night Watch series.

Danielle Thanks -- and yes, I've posted the list over at the Russian Reading Challenge Blog.

illinois natural gas said...

It is a good list of books.. in this list i have got some informative books..