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lets discuss Russian literature

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:37 pm
by LadyMacbeth
Hello :)
Lets discuss the greatest Russian books. I want to start with Anna Karenina. Here is an example review of this book (taken from the Net). Some people say it is the best novel ever written. Your ideas? LM :roll: :roll: :roll:

ANNA KARENINA - REVIEW.


"Anna Karenina" (1873-7) is a book that could be compared to a beautiful mosaic of interlinked stories. Thanks to Tolstoy's book, we get to know characters who sometimes seem so real that we cannot help but living with them the series of events that are recounted in this book.

Who are the main characters?. Well, we might begin by telling something about Anna Karenina, the woman who gives this book its title. Anna is someone who has found some satisfaction in a marriage to a husband she doesn't love. Her life isn't exciting, but she is comfortable, and has a son that means everything to her. Her world will be shaken when a nobleman, Count Vronsky, falls in love with her. He pursuits Anna until he convinces her to become his lover, indulging in an adulterous affair. But... will he go on loving her, even after she risks all for him?. And did she do the right thing, by following her heart without thinking about the consequences of her actions?.
There are many more characters, but I would like to highlight one of them: Levin. Levin is a rather eccentric gentleman farmer, who worries about things like the meaning of life, and allows the reader to share with him the kind of doubts that many have had, but few voice. He ends up finding happiness, but his path is not easy, especially because he is prone to reflect on issues that cause him anguish. His story is linked at the beginning of the book to that of Anna and Vronsky because the woman he loves, Kitty Shcherbatskaya, thinks she loves Vronsky. However, as the story advances, you will probably end up comparing Anna and Vronsky's relationship to that of Kitty and Levin. One is all drama, and passion; the other, calm and contentment. Which one is better?. And according to whom?.

I want to point out how well Tolstoy depicted 19th century Russian society, especially the differences between social classes and how much hypocrisy permeated the moral codes of polite society. If you pay close attention you will notice that several themes also to be found in other classics are recurrent in "Anna Karenina". One of them is fate, and some of the others are the omnipresence of death, the meaning of life, and the power of faith. There are many more things I would like to say about this book, but I think you will do better if you start to read "Anna Karenina" right now, instead of spending more of your time reading a long review such as this one :)

On the whole, I highly recommend this book. It is one of those few books that don't allow you to remain indifferent. You might hate it or love it, but it will necessarily make you think about several important subjects, whilst reading a good story.

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:10 am
by Shimami
Hi
I've never read "Anna Karenina", but I've read "Crime and Punishment" and "Arms and Gown" in Japanese. Another Rossian writer by whose writing I was very impressioned is Maxim Gogol. I like his short story, "Overcoat".
I don't know the precise story of "Anna Karenina" but the library near my house has many Rossian and classic books, so I'll try to read more Rossian literatures at this weekend!!

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:33 pm
by Cypress
Shimami wrote:Hi
I've never read "Anna Karenina", but I've read "Crime and Punishment" and "Arms and Gown" in Japanese. Another Rossian writer by whose writing I was very impressioned is Maxim Gogol. I like his short story, "Overcoat".
I don't know the precise story of "Anna Karenina" but the library near my house has many Rossian and classic books, so I'll try to read more Rossian literatures at this weekend!!
You probably meant to say Nicolai Gogol. But because you mixed up his first name with the name Maxim, it makes me think that you have read another Russian writer whose name is Maxim Gorkiy. Have you?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2007 9:05 am
by Shimami
That's right!!
I was completely wrong and mixed up two famous Rossian writer. The most impressioned writer is Nicolai Gogol, but Maxim Gorky writing "The Lower Depth" was picturized by Akira Kurosawa, so I know the story.

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:41 am
by illusion
The only book I read that was written by a Russian author was "Crime and Punishment" and I must say I did enjoy it a lot :)))

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:59 pm
by **Elena**
WOW! Rasheed! Well done!
Nice collection!
I am very glad that there are ppl who interested in Russian literature.

Thanks!

BTW maybe you can offer something for reading of your native authors :wink:

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:37 pm
by illusion
Rasheed wrote:
illusion wrote:The only book I read that was written by a Russian author was "Crime and Punishment" and I must say I did enjoy it a lot :)))
Your choice is good ..

Please told us about it…


Well, it was a compulsory reading in my polish classes. I bought it during holidays so I had read it before the classes started. I must say it was really thrilling ;)
"crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of evil... " (wikipedia ;))

Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:57 pm
by Cypress
illusion wrote:The only book I read that was written by a Russian author was "Crime and Punishment" and I must say I did enjoy it a lot :)))
But what about Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita? Haven’t you read it?

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:23 am
by mamuta
The Master and Margarita is my favourite! I've read many classic Russian writers and poets: Lev Tolstoi, Alexy Tolstoi, Dostoievsky, Gorky, Pushkin, Mayakovsky etc., but this one is very special. It's beyond me how he managed to wrote it in such grim and merciles times :? ...and it is so close to me because we (as nations) base on the same experience.
I recommend it for all of you: its like balm to one's soul...

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:18 pm
by Cypress
mamuta wrote: I've read many classic Russian writers and poets: Lev Tolstoi, Alexy Tolstoi, Dostoievsky, Gorky, Pushkin, Mayakovsky etc., ...
Wow, I’m trully impressed. BTW, right now, I’m reading Aleksey Tolstoy’s book about Peter the Great. Very interesting and freighting too. What barbarian traditions and customs we used to have back then.

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 6:34 pm
by Tora
Cypress wrote:
mamuta wrote: I've read many classic Russian writers and poets: Lev Tolstoi, Alexy Tolstoi, Dostoievsky, Gorky, Pushkin, Mayakovsky etc., ...
Wow, I’m trully impressed. BTW, right now, I’m reading Aleksey Tolstoy’s book about Peter the Great. Very interesting and freighting too. What barbarian traditions and customs we used to have back then.
So many nice people advised me this book but my dog ate the first volume in her early childhood! :lol: :(

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 1:34 pm
by Vega
I read most of russian classic authors when I was at school. "Crime and Punishment" is a good book, I liked it. My favorite writer was F. Dostoevsky.

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:13 am
by **Elena**
I meant that maybe if its possible you can post here something by Najeeb Mahfooz, Taha Hussain, Hanna Meena…etc and we will recieve opportunity to read and learn Arabic literature

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:19 am
by Tora
illusion wrote:"crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of evil... " (wikipedia ;))
I also had to read it at school and if I had known such a nice description given in wikipedia I wouldn't have puzzled myself writing a composition that time :D

but on the whole a foreign guy I know was much interested in russian names given in that very novel - he found most of them quite specific and was curious how to make short form from "Rodion" and "Dunya" and all the others :wink:

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:49 am
by **Elena**
For these who want to read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
http://www.classic-library.org.ua/tolst ... -karenina/

OR
War and Peace also by Leo Tolstoy

http://www.classic-library.org.ua/tolst ... and-peace/

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:37 am
by **Elena**
The Idiot by F. Dostoyevskiy
http://www.classic-library.org.ua/dosto ... the-idiot/

AND

Crime and Punishment

http://www.classic-library.org.ua/dosto ... unishment/

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:33 pm
by illusion
Cypress wrote:
illusion wrote:The only book I read that was written by a Russian author was "Crime and Punishment" and I must say I did enjoy it a lot :)))
But what about Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita? Haven’t you read it?

ohh good GOD! of course I have!!!! It's one of my favourite books of all time!!!! How could I forgot that it was written by a Russian??? my bad... :( But the book is simply fantastic! I've not read it, I've swollen it completely the first time I read it...an absolutely wonderful reading ;)

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:59 pm
by Hardi
I can only remember 12 stools from Ilja Ilf and Jevgeni Petrov. I'm lazy about read books.. I'm sure have read some more books, but..

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:58 pm
by iamvitaly
My favorite autor is Sholohov... I like also Ilf and Petrov, Pushkin's novels and many many others. But I dislike read lyrics. I think that on the whole it's boring...

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:47 pm
by Tora
about new translations of "War and piece"
The Bromfield War and Peace, first published in Britain earlier this year, runs to just 886 pages, does away with the French and the philosophical digressions, and boasts a happy ending. In the words of the shorter version's Russian publisher, Ecco, it is "twice as short, four times as interesting ... more peace, less war".
http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articl ... 89,00.html

I have read an original version at school, complete and unabridged as it's said. I suppose it is the only way we should meet the classical literature. I am talking this not because I have a special feeling towards Tolstoy as my compatriot, but as I feel that the publishers' and the "cutters'" names will be swallowed by the years as the outstanding writers will left for centuries ahead.

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:58 pm
by Vega
Dostoevsky rocks.

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:01 pm
by sweets
hi
i do not know how to thank u about this wonderful topic :) ,i like russian literature so much,and i read almost of the novel that u menthion before of course not in russion but in mother tonuge language :o

thank u agine

cheeeeeeers

Re: lets discuss Russian literature

Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:28 am
by Tora
Silvio, I'm impressed! Your words are very sincere as I feel. I have always thought that enjoying poetry is only available in it's original language. This is what I have discovered reading Robert Burns, the music of the words rarely can be saved if translated. And actually I suppose poetry is something for "internal use", I mean it loses half of it's admiration when it's not the author's masterpiece but a translator one's.

Re: lets discuss Russian literature

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 5:25 pm
by Cypress
Silvio wrote:One thing I'd be interested in knowing from anyone who has
read these writers and poets in Russian, how do the translations of them compare.
I’ve read Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” both in Russian and English. I can say that it was much easier to read it in English. In his writing, Dostoevsky often used very long complicated sentences. Such long sentences are not common in English, so the translator often broke long sentences into few shorter ones, which made it easier to read. Also, in English translation Dostoevsky’s gloomy and depressing style is not as vivid as in the original.