Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words” as Want to Read:
Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  4,042 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Somewhere on the borders of what is now Russia, in the late 9th century A.D., the great kaghan, ruler of the Khazars, summons the three leading scholars of the known world—Christian, Jewish, Moslem—to debate before the court which religion he and his people will adopt. This is the last thing we know about the Khazars, for in the immediate aftermath of this event, the tribe ...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published February 13th 1989 by Hamish Hamilton (first published 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dictionary of the Khazars, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dictionary of the Khazars

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Gregsamsa
Apr 30, 2014 Gregsamsa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of books about books about books
Recommended to Gregsamsa by: Aubrey
What a mad wild swirling cocktail of a book. Suicide, the children's definition: The soda-fountain concoction that results when you when you mix a little of every flavor in one big cup.

Imagine such a slushy stir of Italo Calvino, Angela Carter, Jorge Luis Borges, Umberto Eco, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, David Mitchell, Jan Potocki, and a healthy slug of Sheharazade.

The Facts: In the 8th Century the semi-nomadic Khazars sat at the East-West tollbooth junction on the Silk Road, providing buffer state
...more
Jan-Maat
Forward
Dictionary of the Khazars is a work of fiction written by Milorad Pavic relating to the factual khanate of the Khazars, the actual, yet debatable and certainly obscure, conversion of the Khazars to Judaism and the mysterious remnants of the Khazar civilisation.

 * * * 


Christianity
World religion to which the Khazars did not convert to. Christian sources form one part of the potentially annoying Dictionary of the Khazars.

Conversion
Process of change from one state to another typically underg
...more
Rachel
I am doing a project in which I read all 1001 of the "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" as stated by a book in this stupid and arbitrary series of different stuff you have to do before you die. It is dumb and I will never finish it, but now that I started, I am pretty set on continuing.

The thing that makes it the most dumb is that these books are chosen by someone who has like, really different taste from me. I hated "Naked Lunch." Now I plan to pretty much hate this book, but I guess it
...more
Kristen
Jan 06, 2011 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, bizarre, fiction, funny
5 minutes ago some customer at my job proceeded to tell me about an episode of Doctor Phil he saw where an obese women lost weight by smoking crack (this is the third time today this man has told me this story.) Then he saw this book on my desk and said "Oh god, you're not really into that stuff are you?" I don't know what he assumed this book was about, I just finished it and I'm still not quite sure what it's about (but it was great, that much I know.) Apparently what ever he thought it was ab ...more
Philippe Malzieu
I adore this book. I have the impression to live at Renaissance time. It is an encyclopaedic project or the imagination competes for it in the reality. An esthète pleasure for gentilhomme. It should be sold in japon paper cover by calf pure leather, title in gold leaf. I have well on bought from the time the male version. If I compared to female version, I did not find that the 17 lines of difference changed so much this book.
I remember the writer during the TV program Apostrophe. A small discre
...more
Aubrey
3.5/5
It is those who actually differ among themselves who pose the greatest danger. They long to meet one another, because their differences do not bother them. And they are the worst. We and our enemies will combine forces to fight those who allow us to differ from them and do not let this difference disturb their sleep; we will destroy them in one fell swoop from three sides...

-Nikon Savast, a.k.a. Satan
I'd be mightily pleased if the back cover claim of "A national bestseller" proved true, a
...more
Jonfaith
Sep 28, 2015 Jonfaith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balkan
A bird foraging for food in the swamps and marshes sinks rapidly if it doesn't move. It has to keep pulling its feet out of the mire to move on, regardless of whether it has caught something or not. And the same applies to us and to our love. We have to move on, we can't stay where we are, because we'll sink.

This is less a novel, than shards of story reduced to a taxonomy. The bird metaphor does reflect on the precariousness of the parsing. Sifting through such, the reader coalesces the data, br
...more
Jake Thomas
Jun 19, 2007 Jake Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like literary aerobics
Recommended to me after I'd talked up Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, this book could be, and often has been, cited as one of Danielewski's predecessors. It's one of those books you could spend a whole year with, unpacking it, taking notes, analyzing and cross-referencing, or you could just read and enjoy.

The book is divided into three dictionaries focused around exploring The Khazar Polemic, a fictionalized account of the mass conversion of the Khazar people in which the representatives
...more
Liv (Оља)
I have like no clue what I just read. I'll rate it 3 stars, but I might change it later.
I can only say the following: dafq was this book?
Teresa
Dicionário do Dicionário Khazar

Verbete 1.
"Os khazar constituíram uma tribo poderosa e independente, um povo guerreiro e nómada, vindo do Oriente numa época incerta. Habitaram, do século VII ao século X, um território situado entre o mar Cáspio e o mar Negro. Entre os dois mares tinham criado um reino poderoso e praticaram uma religião actualmente desconhecida. Converteram-se para uma das três religiões praticadas tanto naqueles tempos como actualmente - o judaísmo, o islamismo e o cristianismo.
...more
Jelena
Mar 09, 2016 Jelena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Prvo, ne znam da li da dam 4 ili 5 zvjezdica jer je bilo dijelova koji su me nervirali i gdje mi je dolazilo da Pavića gađam najdebljim rječnikom koji imam (ili Istorijom srpske književnosti).

Iako napisana krajem XX vijeka, Hazarski rječnik okarakterisan je prvom knjigom XXI vijeka.

Pavić je na veoma zanimljiv i eksperimentalan način stvorio svoj roman iliti roman-leksikon. Čitava priča kreće se oko Hazara, davno iščezlog naroda koji je ispovijedao nepoznatu vjeru na svom jeziku i oko Hazarske p
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I wrote in my review of John Berger's novel "G"--


"Like what I said in my review of Zamyatin's "We," I believe I've found a fair explanation of why the books included in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die made it on the list, and this I found in another listing, the 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die where the Introduction explained the choices by these justifications:

1. the painting (book) is interesting because of its subject matter;
2. the painting (book) is interesting because
...more
Vit Babenco
Jun 19, 2013 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dictionary of the Khazars is a heap of a novel or, probably, even a mountain – everything: religion, mythology, history, mysticism, faith and superstitions are packed in a huge pile and every reader must sort it out one’s own way.
“Avram Brankovich's second, younger son was at the time stretched out somewhere in Bachka behind a motley stove built like a church, and he was suffering. It was rumored that the devil had pissed on him and that the child would get up at night, flee from the house, and
...more
Katherine
Nov 10, 2012 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic, A Lexicon Novel in 100,000 Words, is a lyrical description of the events surrounding the so-called "Khazar Polemic" and conversion of the Khazar people. Written as an encyclopedia containing cross-referenced entries between three different sections (Christian, Muslim, Jewish), it relates the efforts of various scholars to pin down exactly what happened at the Khazar court when the Khagan invited representatives from the three religions to hold a discus ...more
WordsBeyondBorders
Where does one start with trying to explain what the 'Dictionary of Khazars' is about and how does one try to explain it as coherently as possible even if he makes a start at some point. The novel itself is structured in such a way that it does not lend to the conventional ways of telling about it. So, instead I will try to just write down my thoughts on this, however abstract they may appear. I look at this novel from 3 view points, which I think as a whole enhances the impact of it.
Borges wrot
...more
Skituljko
Feb 10, 2017 Skituljko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maestralno!
htanzil
Jul 03, 2009 htanzil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buntelan
Ingin mencoba menikmati pengalaman baru dalam membaca sebuah novel ? Silahkan mencobanya dengan membaca novel leksikon Kamus Khazar karya Milorad Pavic, profesor sejarah kesusasteraan Universitas Beograd dan salah satu penyair kenamaan Yugoslavia. Walau novel ini diberi judul “Kamus Khazar” (Dictionary of The Khazars) namun ini adalah novel. Tepatnya novel berbentuk kamus atau mungkin lebih tepatnya novel berbentuk ensiklopedia. Nah bagaimana mungkin?

Inilah keunikan buku ini, walau berbentuk sep
...more
Knjiski_Moljac
May 06, 2015 Knjiski_Moljac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2015
Genijalno!
Paul Fulcher
Oct 06, 2013 Paul Fulcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A wonderful book and one I will return to with pleasure in future years.

The basis for the novel is the true story of the Khazars - a semi-nomadic people that rapidly created a powerful empire in the 7th Century and then just as rapidly disappeared in the 10th. They left behind relatively little reliable historic records, and the vacuum has been filled by myth: this novel is an imaginative contribution to their reconstructured history.

The centre of the novel is an event that is recorded in histor
...more
A.E. Shaw
Feb 22, 2012 A.E. Shaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I don't understand why finding this book on a borrowing shelf was the first I'd ever heard of it. It seems like something absolutely timeless and classic, and it completely floored me with its simultaneous complexity and simplicity. It's written with such confidence that its unusual structure feels obvious and logical, and, whilst I'm sure you could read it in all the ways the introduction suggests and get much more from it, going the traditional beginning to end way does indeed also work very w ...more
planetkimi
Jun 10, 2008 planetkimi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of unconventional narration!
Recommended to planetkimi by: Teresa
I really wanted to like this book because its esoteric subject sounded awesome, but honestly I knew that I was in trouble when I read the words "eschewing conventional narrative and plot" on the back cover. I'm pretty fond of "conventional narrative and plot," actually. They've been working pretty well for storytelling for quite a while now, and they're good enough for me. ;)

I just couldn't get through it. The narration really was all over the place and my inability to tie the threads together p
...more
Aleksandar Obradović
Koliko god puta da je u životu pročitam biće mi malo. :)
Maggie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julianna
Feb 10, 2010 Julianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I am actually done or not, but this book just keeps blowing my mind. Very bizarre at times but entirely fascinating. I am actually reading the female edition. "When we read, it is not ours to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are jealous and they constantly black out the thoughts of others, for there is not room enough in us for two scents at one time. Those under the sing of the Holy Trinity, a masculine sign, take in only the odd sentences of their books when they read, ...more
Steven
May 10, 2007 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Somebody Interested in Literary Forms
The form of this book is as interesting as its content: It isn't necessarily linear at all.

This is a completely fictional account of the disappearance of an entire culture. The land of the Khazars was geographically located at the intersection of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and this is an encyclopedia (entry by entry) relating each religion's perspective on which of them converted the heathen race.

Dreams and the supernatural are casually woven into this intricately self-referential work. I
...more
Dusica
Jan 13, 2017 Dusica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zanimljiva,pomalo zbunjujuca knjiga ali ok
an
Feb 15, 2011 an rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punya, hibah
membaca buku selalu membuat ketimpangan. awal na berat di kanan, kemudian perlahan-lahan berat di kiri. selalu dengan keterulangan tipe seperti itu untuk buku-buku normal yang dibada cari kiri ke kanan. namun apakah demikian jika membuka kamus? tentulah jika kita membaca kamus tidak terjadi ketimpangan kanan ke kiri, karena kita bisa membuka dimanapun bagian yang kita mau. kirikah? kanankah? atau di bagian tengah.


demikian juga yang terjadi pada novel ini. terlepas dari muatan fiksi atau nyata ce
...more
Meek
Jan 30, 2013 Meek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si hay un a clase de libros que amo, son aquellos que desafían al lector. Y el serbio Milorad Pavic tiene una bibliografia donde cada obra suya posee un marco formal que es un reto a sus lectores, aunque sus temáticas están barnizadas con metáforas, leyendas y más que nada el poder y el significado de los sueños. Leerlo es como caminar sonámbulo guiado sólamente por sus palabras, las que construyen frases compuestas, pareciera, en una eterna duermevela.

"Diccionario Jázaro", que fuera su primera
...more
Nevena Kotarac
Jan 28, 2013 Nevena Kotarac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...Da je razonode, poslužitelji su doneli princezi jednog dana dva ogledala. Nisu se mnogo razlikovala od ostalih hazarskih ogledala. Oba su bila načinjena od uglačane soli, ali jedno je od njih bilo brzo a drugo sporo ogledalo. Što je god ono brzo uzimalo odslikavajući svet kao predujam od budućnosti, drugo, ono sporo, vraćalo je i namirivalo dug prvog, jer je u odnosu na sadašnjost kasnilo tačno onoliko koliko je ono prvo žurilo. Kada su pred princezu Ateh izneli ogledala, ona je još bila u p ...more
Azazello
Oct 16, 2010 Azazello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This book is unlike anything I ever read, and one of my all time favourites.
As its name states it is build of definitions that you can read in any order you like, as long as you don’t miss any, all the parts will eventfully fall into place.

The dictionary is build of three books, red for Christian sources, green for Islamic sources and yellow for Jewish sources. Many definitions show in each of them, contradicting each other and showing the events in their favour. Also in each book according to t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Title, pages.... 7 25 Mar 05, 2016 12:30PM  
Hội Thích Đọc Sách: Từ điển Khazar 5 86 May 16, 2013 08:59PM  
  • Encyclopedia of the Dead
  • Death and the Dervish
  • Znakovi pored puta
  • La mano de la buena fortuna
  • The Culture of Lies: Antipolitical Essays
  • The Cyclist Conspiracy
  • Orlovi rano lete (Pionirska trilogija, #1)
  • Premeditated Murder
  • Besnilo
  • Nečista krv
  • Beleške jedne Ane
80824
Milorad Pavić was a Serbian poet, prose writer, translator, and literary historian.

Pavić wrote five novels which were translated into English: Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel, Landscape Painted With Tea, Inner Side of the Wind, Last Love in Constantinople and Unique Item as well as many short stories not in English translation.
More about Milorad Pavić...

Share This Book



“When we read, it is not ours to absorb all that is written. Our thoughts are jealous and they constantly blank out the thoughts of others, for there is not room enough in us for two scents at one time.” 35 likes
“I dream in a language I do not understand when I'm awake.” 11 likes
More quotes…