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Dictionary of the Khazars (Male Edition)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,646 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews
A national bestseller, Dictionary of the Khazars was cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year. Written in two versions, male and female (both available in Vintage International), which are identical save for seventeen crucial lines, Dictionary is the imaginary book of knowledge of the Khazars, a people who flourished somewhere beyond Tra ...more
Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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David Casperson
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Liz I've never read anything on Kindle. As far as I know, it should work fine in any format, as long as Kindle or whatever you read it on still has the…moreI've never read anything on Kindle. As far as I know, it should work fine in any format, as long as Kindle or whatever you read it on still has the illustrations. But, with a book of this type, I would suggest getting the hard copy just because it adds so much to the surreal mysterious atmosphere, which I think would be lost if you tried to read it on a computer screen. (less)

Community Reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Dictionary of the Khazars - Right on the title page prospective readers are informed there are two, nearly identical, editions of this book – MALE and FEMALE (authors caps). We are also alerted, warned even, that ONE PARAGRAPH (again, author's caps) is critically different in each edition. As both editions are now available in English, Serbian author Milorad Pavić and/or his publisher conclude this mini preamble with these words: “The choice is yours.”

Quizzically quaint in that I see not only o
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.

 * * * 

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

Process of change from one state to another typically underg
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Vit Babenco
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dictionary of the Khazars is a heap of a novel or, probably, even a mountain – everything: religion, mythology, history, mysticism, faith, beliefs 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 hou
Jan 06, 2011 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
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bᴜᴅᴠᴀ—A town on the Montenegrin coast, pop. 13,000. According to Stephanus of Byzantium, writing in the 6th century CE, Budva was founded by Cadmus, the grandson of Poseidon and first king of Thebes, who had journeyed up the coast in his old age with his wife Harmonia. Inhabited for at least 2,500 years, Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic, and the centre of Montenegro's small but important tourist industry. It was here in 2007 that Warwickº bought a copy of Dictionary of the ...more
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Philippe Malzieu
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jake Thomas
Jun 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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
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?
Mar 09, 2016 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
Teresa Proença
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.
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
Šī bija viena no tām grāmatām, par kurām es nemaz nebiju dzirdējis. Jau pēc pāris dienām es devos šīs vārdnīcas meklējumos. Latviski viņu atrast ir tikpat nereāli kā Daubmana 1691. gadā izdoto oriģinālu. Apstaigāju visas zināmās lietoto grāmatu pārdotuves. Pārdevējas saprata, par ko es runāju, bet šādas grāmatas uz vietas nebija. Nolēmu padoties un nopirkt krievu mēlē, ar to nebija nekādas problēmas. Pēc šādas ņemšanās biju tā nosvīdis, ka varēju padusēs sālīt zivi, un grāmatas lasīšana atlikās ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Ned Rifle
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Goodreads recomendation system first brought the Dictionary of the Khazars to my attention,and for that I am glad. Having been intrigued by the premise I was lucky enough to come across a cheap copy only a short while later, and it was with hope that I advanced.

The introduction (part of the book, mind) tells us that we can read in any way or order we please,I in my cowardice plumped for habit and went from front to back.

The book is ostensibly mainly concerned with the mass conversion of th
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry Collier IV
Dictionary of the Khazars aims to reimagine where books (stories) begin and end. Pavic makes no secret of his desire to allow the story to become fluid and have the reader explore that which is of interest to him -since this is the female version of his book perhaps we should say that which is of interest to her.
I like this idea and on previous readings of this book I have been surprised by how interesting it all was. I don't believe I ever completed a whole section without skipping to another t
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: south-slavic, reread
Ovo bi trebalo da je vrhunsko dostignuće naše postmoderne. Žao mi je što se ne mogu složiti s tim. Koliko god se trudila, ne uspevam da prevaziđem vrstu šarlatanstva i prodavanja magle koju prepoznajem kod Pavića, da ne govorim o recikliranju i prepakovanju tuđih ideja. Iako jedinstveno u našoj književnosti, zbog čega kod mene i nije dobilo najnižu ocenu, ovo delo mi se učinilo toliko praznim, naročito za vreme u kome je nastalo, da nisam dobila želju da više pročitam ijedno Pavićevo delo.
Paul Fulcher
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
A.E. Shaw
Feb 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Dictionary of the Khazars is a fabulous work in the style of Borges - a largely invented history (though including references to real people and places) with a largely invented scholarly apparatus in the footnotes and cross-references to support it. The formal innovation is casting it as a series of alphabetically organized encyclopedia entries, but in three parts with some entries repeated in all three but many not. There are several stories told and re-told in many variations and while the ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Zanimljiva,pomalo zbunjujuca knjiga ali ok
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2015
Jul 03, 2009 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
«Хозарський словник» із тих книжок, які можна брати на безлюдний острів. Цього разу я читав книжку послідовно, і все одно, думаю, є якісь статті, які не можна прочитати в такий спосіб.

Перше стійке враження було—як повернутися в юність, літо; ковток свіжого повітря в затінку. Я й не знав, наскільки ця книжка стала і залишилась словником для мене самого: якісь речі, що здавалися забутими, а виявилось, це їх я вважав самозрозумілими. Можна було б любити її тільки за те, що це книжка про книжки, ал
Đông Huynh
Đây là một cuốn sách kỳ lạ, và có thể là một tác phẩm lớn, nhưng với tôi đó không phải là một cuốn sách khiến tôi yêu thích. Nói đúng hơn, tôi không thể đọc hết cuốn sách này. Nó quá nhàm chán (chứ ko fải buồn chán)! Nó ko gây ra trong tôi một sự thích thú, buồn bã, khích lệ, hào hứng, phấn khích, tức tối, giận dữ, hoặc suy nghĩ nào. Nói tóm lại, tôi hoàn toàn dửng dưng với nó.

Cuốn sách này thực sự khó đọc. Nó khó đọc ko fải vì những suy tưởng miên man và những câu văn "hại não" kiểu "Những đứa
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I think I'm onto something... 1 10 Jun 19, 2017 07:35AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Title, pages.... 7 28 Mar 05, 2016 12:30PM  
Hội Thích Đọc Sách: Từ điển Khazar 5 96 May 16, 2013 08:59PM  
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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

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“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.” 41 likes
“I dream in a language I do not understand when I'm awake.” 16 likes
More quotes…