26 May 2006 02:58
Anybody out there likes Russian writers from the 19th century? Which one do you prefer? Why do you find their books so interesting?
29 May 2006 02:24
i would like a list of good authors
as above :)
29 May 2006 11:54
Re - a bit long...
...but it's in the spirit of the topic :)
Hmm. That’s a tough one. It’s very difficult to recommand an appropriate book to someone you don’t know. Russian writers are very diverse, and I’d hate telling you about a book which you might not like at the moment, if it meant you’d give up on them altogether. So I’ll just make a short chronological survey of Russian literature, of which I am, needless to say, a big fan, and you can see if anything of that sounds interesting to you.
Modern Russian literature starts with Pushkin, so that’s where I begin. He’s considered the best Russian poet, but I can’t really be the judge of that for his poems are essentially untranslatable. His stories, though, are fun. ’’Queen of Spades’’ is a creepy tale about gambling, and ’’The Blizzard’’, about a man who tells a strange story while making a marriage-proposal is bound to make you laugh.
My favorite writer (not just Russian) is Nikolai Gogol. He was a very strange person, and his works are totally demented. In what is surely one of the weirdiest tales ever, the protagonist finds out that his nose has started a life of its own, and he chases it all over Sankt Petersburg, trying to get it back onto his face. His best work is a novel called ’’Dead Souls’’, it’s side-splittingly funny and chilling at the same time, but anything by that man is pure gold.
Enter Fyodor Dostoevsky. He writes exciting long novels about murderers, prostitutes and revolutionaries, depair and hope, sin and redemption. When he writes about small provincial intrigues, you feel like it’s actually about the End of Days. His heroes are all tortured souls, immensely passionate and full of existantial angst, constantly debating existence of God and the origin of evil while drinking in small, smoky, dirty inns. ’’Notes from Underground’’ is some 100 page-long nihilistic whine which changed the world of literature forever. On a personal note, his ’’Crime and Punishment’’ is a novel which changed my literary taste, convincing me that so-called classic literature is not something snobish and unreadable, but on the contrary, gripping and immensely enjoyable. Believe it or not, it’s a thriller spiced with some philosophical musings, and it’s simply marvelous.
Tolstoy is probably the most famous Russian writer. He writes great novels like ’’Ana Karenina’’ and ’’War and Peace’’ – complex canvases of history and personal strrugle of his protagonists. His shorter stuff is also worthwile.
Finally, Chekhov is the master of short story – none can compare with him really in that field. He writes about everyday life and seemingly completely ordinary events, sometimes finding in them the source for the most hillarious comedy, but sometimes showing the immense horrors which lie under the surface of day-to-day existence. He wrote hundreds of short stories, which vary much in tone – some are wonderfully humorous, some melanchonical, and sometimes painfully brutal, but all are well worth reading.
I’d just like to add that translations really vary in quality, so it’s advisable to be a little picky when choosing from different editions of the same work. If you read something Rusian, please let me know what you think!
29 May 2006 22:37
Yes, I love them; I could not decide particulary which one, there are many great authors - Tolstoi, Dostoevskii, Tschekov, and yes, Odoevskii. Last one is great. I've recently read his novel "Salamandra".
30 May 2006 21:56
Odoevskii, yes. Loved his book, rather funny with all those Chuhonians :)
31 May 2006 12:18
check "The Traitor" by Lavr Divomlikoff
01 Jun 2006 20:58
Reply to i would like a list of good authors by **mooman*
like some more books... b/c i've read all the ones in this damn house, lol
30 Sep 2008 21:30
Reply to russian literature by sir_thomyorke
dostoyevski is a special man according to me.in his books there s not just the fiction, also a great philosopic background.
20 Oct 2008 16:10
Agreed! Just saw the filming from "crime and punishment", not bad, not bad!
11 Dec 2008 07:25
The Brothers Karamazov
I find that most of his literary works, especially the one mentioned as the topic, are a bit long-winded. They'd be better reduced to philosophy essays/dialogues, I think – but maybe that's because I prefer the negative ethical and religious commentary. :)
11 Dec 2008 09:12
Notes From Underground
is a great, short novel.
12 Dec 2008 00:52
I retract the statement. I've been meaning to read it, but it is quite far below on the list of books.
30 Dec 2008 16:34
With the exceptions of
Anna Karenina and the entire Chekhov, I have never been a big fan of Russian 19th century writers.
I know, i know, stone me to death for not worshipping Tolstoi and Dostojevski.
13 Mar 2009 04:18
yes they are very deep and interesting but don't have time to read, too long
02 Jun 2009 15:45
I m Russian and I can say you for sure that not all our books are so long!))We have a lot of short stories written by classics(for example some Dostoevski's stories)..Maybe our short stories are not so widespread abroad)))
08 Jul 2009 15:18
I want to add that there are a lot of Chehov small stories. And they are very amusing!!!
21 Nov 2009 23:27
Reply to i would like a list of good authors by **mooman*
I started with Tolstoy's short stories (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth - The Cossacks - Sebastopol). Those gave me an idea of how he wrote before plunging into the epics.
24 Jun 2012 04:01
I love the short story writers especially. Chekhov, of course. And also Turgenev, who not a lot of people know or talk about. Someone mentioned that the quality of translations varies a great deal, and this is true. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have done some wonderful translations of Chekhov, and of the big famous novels.