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Favorite Russian Author?

Old 07-06-02, 07:03 PM
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Favorite Russian Author?

Mine for a long time has been Alexander Solzhenitsyn but it is quickly becoming Fyodor Dostoyevsky or Bertolt Brecht.

I'd say Solzhenitsyn is wonderful though. Check out "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" to see how masterful he can be with writing. He was a Nobel Prize Laureate and is really just a literary genius.

I haven't read anything by Turgenev or Gorky, so I can't compare to those men. Can anyone suggest any good female Russian authors?
Old 07-07-02, 09:04 AM
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[The devil made me do it!]

<small>
Originally posted by Alyoshka
Can anyone suggest any good female Russian authors?
</small>[mysterX]Ayn Rand[/mysterX]
Old 07-07-02, 10:33 AM
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Re: [The devil made me do it!]

Originally posted by benedict
<small></small>[mysterX]Ayn Rand[/mysterX]
Ah, Ayn! I somehow forgot about her...she's up there on my all-time favorite authors. Atlas Shrugged is one book that everyone ought to read. I'm sure that before long mysterX will be in here singing his praises to Ayn.
Old 07-08-02, 12:34 AM
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I have to greatly disagree with Ayn Rand...I just couldn't get into her style or her philosophy.

I'd go with Dostoyevsky or Nabokov. Even though "Lolita" truly disturbed me, I thought it was crafted brilliantly.

I tend to shy from Russian Literature though...it becomes tedious.
Old 07-11-02, 09:50 PM
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ALEXANDR SOLZHENITSYN!!! When I die they're going to put the entire "Gulag Archipelago" in there with me. And Nabokov just makes me happy to be alive, I used to carry Pale Fire with me everywhere I went I like Gogol too, Dead Souls was a fine read. Oh and there's Andrei Platonov...I find that Russian literature and modern non-fiction (Edvard Radzinsky, etc.) just has such a wonderful black, sense of humor and sardonic awareness of Russia's curious place in world history. Russia has by far the most amazing and distinguished literary history and Russian authors seem to have a singular gift for language.

I don't care much for Gorky or Blok...they have very suspect political histories...
Old 07-12-02, 12:44 AM
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Vladimir Nabokov
Alyssa Rosenbaum (Ayn Rand)

And wasn't Bertolt Brecht German?
Old 07-15-02, 12:10 PM
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Mikhail Lermontov - A Hero of Our Time

This was my favorite book by a Russian author, though I haven't read all that much of his, and he died really young. I think that Dostoyevsky had the most talent of the Russian authors that I've read but after college I get enough bleak from existence, I have to happier things.
Old 07-15-02, 05:01 PM
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I've heard that Russians aren't half as enamored with Dostyoevsky as Americans are. Something about how they thought of him as less of an artist and more of a sage or a mystic or something. I still loved Crime and Punishment and plan on picking up The Eternal Husband soon.
Old 07-18-02, 03:27 AM
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Has anyone here read any read any Russian novels in their native languages. Of course, that would mean that you are fluent in Russian.

I had the bright idea of trying to learn Russian so I could read some of these works in the tongue they were written in. Now that was a big mistake. I have never had a more tedious year. I don't think this mind of mine was made to master the intricacies of the language.
Old 07-18-02, 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by funkyryno
Has anyone here read any read any Russian novels in their native languages. Of course, that would mean that you are fluent in Russian.
Yikes, I'd have to learn a different alphabet (I know it's not called an alphabet)...what is the Russian writing called? I've heard it mentioned before, and I know it doesn't translate perfectly to English.
Old 07-18-02, 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Alyoshka

Yikes, I'd have to learn a different alphabet (I know it's not called an alphabet)...what is the Russian writing called? I've heard it mentioned before, and I know it doesn't translate perfectly to English.
Cyrillic (or Kyrillic).

http://www.friends-partners.org/oldf...-alphabet.html
Old 07-18-02, 01:11 PM
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Oh yeah, there was one thing that I'd been wondering. In Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky talks about a flat neighbor of Svidrigailov's that has a stutter. I wonder what a stuttering Russian would sound like? Its funny to think about!
Old 07-21-02, 06:01 PM
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I'd have to say Dostoyevski by far. Fr. Zossima in The Brothers Karamazov is one of my all time favorite characters. Crime and Punishment and The Idiot are also very good.

Solzhenitsyn is very good...my favorite modern Russian author. Haven't read Gulag yet, but I loved One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch and Cancer Ward.

Other Notable Russian Authors/Works:
Gogol: Dead Souls, The Nose
Pushkin: Eugene Onegin
Bulgakov: Master and Margarita
Chekov: Cherry Orchard
Tolstoy: Death of Ivan Illych
Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
Old 07-22-02, 09:14 AM
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I'd have to go with Nabokov for the sheer joy he brings me, but that new translation of Tolstoy's ANna Karenina is phenomenal. At least the first half is, I'll let you know about the rest when I finish it... oh, next year.
Old 07-25-02, 02:04 PM
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Ah, the Russians... God, can they write. I think most of the ones mentioned are wonderful.

Solzhenitsyn
Nabokov
Dostoyevsky
Tolstoy
Pushkin

My one bump is Ayn Rand. I think her writing is incredibly overrated and solipsistic. The original new-ager. I know this is not an opinion shared by many, and I don't to offend anyone here, but I think most people who find Rand amazing are younger, less "experienced" individuals. Students or people who haven't had a ton of life experiences yet, who read Atlas Shrugged and go, "Wow..."

I did this when I first read her in college. Then I reread it about 5 years ago and thought, "What a load of horse dump."

Now, after that rant, I will say I think The Fountainhead is by far her best work.
Old 07-25-02, 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by BoatDrinks

...
My one bump is Ayn Rand. I think her writing is incredibly overrated and solipsistic. The original new-ager. I know this is not an opinion shared by many, and I don't to offend anyone here, but I think most people who find Rand amazing are younger, less "experienced" individuals. Students or people who haven't had a ton of life experiences yet, who read Atlas Shrugged and go, "Wow..."

I did this when I first read her in college. Then I reread it about 5 years ago and thought, "What a load of horse dump."

Now, after that rant, I will say I think The Fountainhead is by far her best work.
I can accept that you don't like Ayn Rand. But it is totally untrue that she is most admired only by younger people. I (who am 55) and many, many other libertarian type people admire her a great deal regardless of our ages. I think she is the leading light for individual freedom in the 20th century and if it weren't for her and her influence there would be much fewer people today promoting those ideas. I am not an Objectivist sycophant (unfortunately there are some of those) but I would say I agree with her 85%-95%.

I'm not saying her fiction writing is superior to or as good as Nabokov's, Dostoyevsky's or Tolstoy's. But I love her philosophy and ideas and, coupled with her quite competent skill in putting together some very intriguing and complex novels of ideas, she is one of my favorites. I don't expect people who do not like what she stood for to like her writing.

One thing I do not understand is your calling her "the original new-ager." As she was totally devoted to reason and logic and eschewed anything having to do with the supernatural or mystical, I can only assume that you mean that somehow metaphorically, but I sure don't know how. It may relate to your solipsist remark but Ayn Rand was no solipsist.

(I must interject here a quote from Bertrand Russell:

As against solipsism it is to be said, in the first place, that it is psychologically impossible to believe, and it is rejected in fact even by those who mean to accept it. I once received a letter from an eminent logician, Mrs. Christine Ladd Franklin, saying that she was a solipsist, and was surprised that there were no others. Coming from a logician, this surprise surprised me.
Sorry for the digression, but I love that story.)

BTW, I think Atlas Shrugged is superior to The Fountainhead because Rand's philosophy was more developed when she wrote it and it is a more complete and consistent presentation of that philosophy. They're both good reads as are We the Living, Anthem (although that one is quite simplistic, but it's a fable), and virtually all her nonfiction. IMHO. But I do find The Romantic Manifesto just plain weird.

Last edited by movielib; 07-25-02 at 07:14 PM.
Old 07-25-02, 09:05 PM
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I haven't read nearly enough Russians but I know this:

Master and Margarita by Bulgakov is one of the best books I have read. Wow.
Old 07-25-02, 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by Jepthah
I haven't read nearly enough Russians but I know this:

Master and Margarita by Bulgakov is one of the best books I have read. Wow.
I read it a long time ago. IIRC, I read it about three times a long time ago. I agree it is a great book.

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