After all the reviews, recommendations and years of procrastination I finally finished The Curious Incident. Written in the language of an autistic teAfter all the reviews, recommendations and years of procrastination I finally finished The Curious Incident. Written in the language of an autistic teenage boy, a tongue so surprisingly easy, logical and perfectly readable, the story tells a tale of innocence and mystery, hope and sober discovery that unfortunately fails to reach its potential depth. Though clearly not a masterpiece, this book is a must-read for everyone at least for its brilliant humour and insight....more
It's my latest re-read of the story, in the original language.
Here, Platonov's style of writing is horrible (perhaps intentional, since he is capableIt's my latest re-read of the story, in the original language.
Here, Platonov's style of writing is horrible (perhaps intentional, since he is capable of sounding different elsewhere). But the allegory applied in this story makes him an admirable writer. This book proves that any one can write a story, that style isn't king, that story-telling is about timing a series of thoughtful shots, and that compact substance makes up for any other shortcomings. Nothing ruins a good story. A bad story is a good story that haven't been told.
Platonov's substance in this book is his vision that communism will fail before it even starts. He wrote Kotlovan in 1929-1930, when the great American dream experienced its worst ever (yet) bust, Europe was still paying the price of World War 1, and Soviet Communism was gaining popularity after it had pushed for a growth momentum that eventually saw the destruction of Nazi Germany. Of course, on the surface, Platonov seemed to have made a mistake in his calculation. But when the rest of the world scrambled to explain how USSR managed to crumble from within, much of the explanations to dismiss the system sounded as though each were adapted from Platonov's Kotlovan.
Had I been alive to read this story in the 1930s, maybe I would dismiss Platonov entirely. But I have heard too many clichés that seemed to have originated from this book....more
A well thought-out lecture that makes for pleasant reading on the history of Russia, offering a theory that, in its time, had caused trouble for the nA well thought-out lecture that makes for pleasant reading on the history of Russia, offering a theory that, in its time, had caused trouble for the nation. Despite what I consider as 'questionable' conclusions, the lecture reflects knowledgeable mind that deserves recognition....more
It's my first quick-read, but I enjoyed it. Will return to it once there's more reading time at hand despite the tiring language/style of the translatIt's my first quick-read, but I enjoyed it. Will return to it once there's more reading time at hand despite the tiring language/style of the translator/author.
So far I find it very useful - not so much a historic source as it is a collection of legendary kings and their entourages. Sturluson is detailed enough to provide imagery which can be quite vivid for readers acquainted enough with history of Scandinavia....more
Nietzsche is beyond, and he's not taking me along. I prefer to not understand him, because to say that the author is what crunchy nuts are to chocolatNietzsche is beyond, and he's not taking me along. I prefer to not understand him, because to say that the author is what crunchy nuts are to chocolate bars will not describe just how much I despise crunchy nut chocolate bars. Yet that's pretty much what Nietzsche is, a crunchy nut chocolate bar, thankfully without Paulo Coelho's caramel fillings. That would not have been a treat. What I sought to discover in such books is the plain, bitter taste of dark chocolate, in flat square plate shapes, like the ones supplied to chocolate makers who then re-process them into fancy bars and candies.
There is much more Nietzsche in Chekhov's stories than I'd ever wish I knew. It shall now be my honour not to know how much there really is. Perhaps, it isn't ignorance that is bliss. Rather, bliss is the will to ignore. That's why I prefer to not understand him. I think Chekhov did say something like, "... any idiot can face a crisis,..."...more
Ikonnikov-Galitskiy's book, whose title can be loosely interpreted as "The Suicide of an Empire," is worth translating into other languages - and notIkonnikov-Galitskiy's book, whose title can be loosely interpreted as "The Suicide of an Empire," is worth translating into other languages - and not because his full name sounds exotic to those who are familiar with the history of Russian-Polish relations.
The author's attempt to illustrate series of events that culminated in the inevitable Russian (October 1917) Revolution traces back to events of criminal and terrorist nature as far as 1866.
His illustration dismantles many myths about that pre-revolutionary era by using official documents, archived newspaper articles, personal journals and letters as the basis of his argument(s). He presents them with acute, sharp rational - though he may seem subjective to the reader when some events lack supporting document(s). Yet Ikonnikov-Galitskiy successfully narrates a background story to the revolution that exposes the (on-and-off-stage) power struggle between various branches of the reformist movements, including radicals, with that of the monarchist authority, including various law enforcement institutions.
Perhaps Ikonnikov-Galitskiy weakness comes in his failure to conclude. For instance, in his rush to criticise the First Duma's first session about amnesty, he asked rhetorically (freely translated): What is a crime, if it isn't an extreme display of social freedom?
My problem with crime = extreme display is that, should an individual express extreme determination for self-defence (e.g.: take up arms) against an aggressor (e.g.: enemy force, figure of authority), this extreme display of freedom is automatically considered a crime.
But apart from the weak conclusions such as that, the author did a great job at bringing about long forgotten facts back into light....more