Monday, June 16, 2014

"It’s Very Cold Out And Love Does Not Exist Also"

Why haven't I read any of the classic Russian novels? Even though I should? Perhaps because as "Every Russian Novel Ever" demonstrates, they're all so predictable.

Chapter 1. A Philosophical Murder
Chapter 2. A Washerwoman Is Insulted
Chapter 3. The Student’s Emotional Isolation Is Complete
Chapter 4. The Estate Is Sold Off
Chapter 5. Uuuuuughhhh
Chapter 6. An Argument That Is Mostly In French
Chapter 7. It’s Very Cold Out And Love Does Not Exist Also
Chapter 8. The Nihilist Buffs His Fingernails While Society Crumbles
Chapter 9. There Is No God
Chapter 10. 400 Pages Of A Single Aristocratic Family’s Slow, Alcoholic Decline
Chapter 11. Is This A Dinner Party Or Is This Hell?
Chapter 12. The Wedding Is Interrupted
Chapter 13. Friendship Among The Political Prisoners
Chapter 14. A Lackluster Duel
Chapter 15. The Countess Attempts Suicide
Chapter 16. Back From Siberia, Unexpectedly
Chapter 17. A Fit of Impetuousness
Chapter 18. Someone Middle-Class Does Something Awful
Chapter 19. A Prostitute Listens To A Ninety-Page Philosophical Manifesto
Chapter 20. I Advise You To Display More Emotional Control In The Future
Chapter 21. The Manservant Dies Alone
Chapter 22. Is This A Murder Mystery Or An Exploration Of The Nature Of Religious Faith? Turns Out, A Little Bit Of Both
Chapter 23. The Mayor Tells A Self-Serving Lie
Chapter 24. The Countess Finds Religion
Chapter 25. New Political Waves of Liberalism, Radicalism, and Nihilism Wash Over Russia
Chapter 26. The Time When We Might Have Found Happiness Together Has Passed


Stuart Elliott said...

Not a complete list, but I've read
Dead Souls
The Master and Margarita
Crime and Punishment
The Brothers Karamazov
Fathers and Sons
Cancer Ward
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

I watched "Dr. Zhivago" but not sure I've read it. Watched PBS series of "War and Peace" but don't think I've read it.

Russell Arben Fox said...

You put me to shame, Stuart. I have no good excuse for not having read Ivan Denisovich, as I've had multiple occasions to read that in the past. I do have Brothers Karamazov on my shelf though; getting through it is one of my sabbatical plans.

Matt said...

There is some truth to this! But, you should read Master and Margarita, at least. I think you'd like it. (You might read _Heart of a Dog_ first, to get an idea if you might like Bulgakov. It's quite short.) Dead Souls (which I finally read after starting on during a plane ride from New Zealand) is also really very fun. (I liked it a lot more, really, than "the Overcoat", which is what most people read if they are going to only read a bit of Gogol.)

Lots of Russian stuff really is tedious and sometimes didactic. It's a real flaw. But, some can be really good, too. I think you'd like the above.