Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) discussion

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message 1: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
We will start nominations for our 2nd Quarter long read book. The winning book will be read from April through June.

The book you nominate must be over 500 pages.
It can be either contemporary or old school -- but still must be considered a classic!
It can also be a book that we have already read.


message 2: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Feb 15, 2014 11:57AM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
I'll start off by nominating War and Peace. It was our 1st quarter long read, but we haven't had anyone reading & discussing it yet.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy


message 3: by Daisy (new)

Daisy (bellisperennis) Kathy wrote: "It was our 1st quarter long read."

If War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy wins for the 2nd quarter, I would like to begin reading. Is there a estimated date when the nomination period and the poll are closed? Once it wins, if it does, I'll begin. If another book wins that's okay too. Of course. :)


message 4: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
I was thinking of putting up the poll in a week and then running the poll until the end of February. That would still give the poll a week to run, so we would know by March 1st or 2nd what book wins.


message 5: by Daisy (new)

Daisy (bellisperennis) Sounds great. Thanks.


message 6: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Hamby Sounds good to me.


message 7: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Of course. If we get no other nominations, we will just go with War and Peace. I have a list of other long classics I'd like to read, but I'll save those to nominate another time.


message 8: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Well, a no-contest poll is no fun ;-). I'll nominate Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Btw, I do want to read War and Peace, and have already begun planning my strategy. ;-). There are quite a few translations, I've narrowed down my choices either to the newest, the Pevear & V translation, or the 2005 Englishman's - the Briggs translation, or one of the earliest, a woman, who translated it in 1905, I think?. I think I don't want to read the common translation, I think it was Maude?, bc that's likely the one I unsuccessfully tried in college ;-). There's a guy on Amazon who's read the work multiple times, in multiple translations, and has some good reviews and comparisons.

No matter which translation I go with tho, I'm starting with at least one, preferably two, film adaptations first. That was so helpful to me, in reading Doctor Zhivago.


message 9: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Well, MK. That book is on my list to read too! At least we will have a poll!


message 10: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments :-))


message 11: by Connie (new)

Connie Cote Would The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien qualify in this category? If so, I would like to nominate it.


message 12: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Yes, Connie. I think it is now considered a classic, and it is long enough too.


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard I just loved Crime and Punishment, and of course everyone should read The Lord of the Rings series. But, I have never read War and Peace, and now I have a Kindle so it is a much more practical thing to do (before the thought of carrying around such a big book was a deterrent to starting). I also set my reading challenge goal this year very low so I didn't have any excuse for not reading long books. So I'm in for W&P.


message 14: by Aprilleigh (last edited Feb 15, 2014 03:45PM) (new)

Aprilleigh (aprilleighlauer) | 553 comments The Brothers Karamazov would be my second choice (behind War and Peace, which has already been nominated).


message 15: by Daisy (last edited Feb 15, 2014 04:26PM) (new)

Daisy (bellisperennis) Connie wrote: Would The Lord of the Rings The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien qualify in this category?

This is a series I would happily read, or reread (including The Hobbit). I was wondering if a long read might include interlinked novels. I was initially thinking of the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, the Discworld series (Discworld perhaps is not classic), or Balzac's "The Human Comedy." Would the Jeeves and Wooster novels by P.G. Wodehouse be of interest perhaps? I think there are many others.


message 16: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Desha | 2 comments War and Peace sounds great to me--it's one of my soon-to-reads as well! :)


message 17: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Feb 15, 2014 05:46PM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Hi Daisy

J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be one book. The long read is really for a book, as opposed to a series. And we need to make sure that we go with the Classics theme too. All said, there are some series that are now considered books and vice versa.

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an omnibus compilation into one book now.

Balzac, Honoré de novels, wow. That I think could be a group unto itself! And probably the same with P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves & Wooster.

At this point I think Discworld would be pushing it for the idea of Classics.


message 18: by Daisy (new)

Daisy (bellisperennis) Kathy wrote: "The long read is really for a book."

Okay, sounds great. And Kathy wrote:

"J.R.R. Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be one book."

I hadn't realized this, interesting. It sure makes sense because this trilogy unquestionably reads like one book.

Too bad for Discworld. Ah well. lol


message 19: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Daisy wrote: "Kathy wrote: "The long read is really for a book."

Okay, sounds great. And Kathy wrote:

"J.R.R. Tolkien meant for The Lord of the Rings to be one book."

I hadn't realized this, interesting.

Too bad for Discworld. Ah well. lol ..."


Hey, we all enjoy our Discworld reads! I just use my other groups to discuss them.


message 20: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 1092 comments I wonder if Under the North Star would qualify for this. It might be difficult to find but even though it's a trilogy I actually know it just by that one name...


message 21: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Tytti, you should nominate the first of that series for a contemporary classic read! Then if people are interested we could add threads for the other two. Sounds interesting.


message 22: by Tytti (last edited Feb 15, 2014 07:53PM) (new)

Tytti | 1092 comments Well the first part is probably the least interesting one because it mainly tells the background. (Of course there is a lot happening there, the language strife, nationalism, socialism, the problems of the tenant farmers...) It's not really an independent novel because the Civil War comes in the second part and that's the most important thing in the trilogy. In Finnish they are just named UtNS 1,2,3. (And actually most Finnish reviews here are under the whole trilogy. I even think about buying it as one volume.) Täällä Pohjantähden alla 1-3


message 23: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 3 comments Seeing the Lord of the Rings seems as if it doesn't fit the specifications, I would definitely read Crime and Punishment as well!


message 24: by Tytti (new)

Tytti | 1092 comments I think that LotR should be considered as one novel. I even own it as one volume. Nobody refers to it (them) with those other names. I didn't even know they existed before the movies.


message 25: by Connie (new)

Connie Cote My copy of Lord of the Rings is 1 volume.


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris | 4 comments I'll recommend Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I just need an excuse to sit down with this novel.


message 27: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 3 comments Not sure if it's been read already, but I would nominate Victor Hugo's Les Miserables


message 28: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "I'll recommend Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I just need an excuse to sit down with this novel."

Great book, Chris. But I'm not sure this one could be considered a Classic at this time?


message 29: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Matthew wrote: "Not sure if it's been read already, but I would nominate Victor Hugo's Les Miserables"

For our long reads, we are fine with books that we've already read and books new to the group. Just need to be a long book and considered a Classic.


message 30: by ebookclassics (new)

ebookclassics Is it too late to vote? I would like to also nominate War and Peace. Thanks!


message 31: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Nominations are closed.
The poll is up: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/9...


Setalpgninnpsekil | 6 comments MK wrote: "Well, a no-contest poll is no fun ;-). I'll nominate Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Btw, I do want to read War and Peace, and have already begun planning my st..."


The P&V translation of War & Peace is the way to go, as is their translation of the Brothers Karamazov.

Voting for the Brothers Karamazov. It's my favorite book, and I want to read it again.


message 33: by MK (last edited Feb 28, 2014 09:39AM) (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Setalpgninnpsekil wrote: "The P&V translation of War & Peace is the way to go, as is their translation of the Brothers Karamazov.

Voting for the Brothers Karamazov. It's my favorite book, and I want to read it again. "


Hi Setal :). Thx! I appreciate the input. I have heard that P&V's is maybe the best. The only thing that had me looking at the woman's from 1905, or the Brit's from just a couple years before P&Vs came out, was the included French. P&V preserve the French, untranslated, as Tolstoy wrote it. But the other two translate the French (and I've heard that those two translations of the Russian are also quite good). I don't speak French, is my concern there ;-). Have you read/seen/heard anything about those other two translations?

Also - our quarterly poll, and 2 of our 3 monthly polls are still open :-). Cast your vote at the polls section, here's the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/4...

(I am currently reading P&V's translation of Doctor Zhivago, and liking it very much :) )


Setalpgninnpsekil | 6 comments I know Garnet (the public domain one) translates the French into English. I'm not sure about the other one.

P&V also translate the French, but it's in the form of footnotes. I actually prefer it this way because French was the English of the early 19th century. That is, it was a common language everyone spoke, especially the upper class. I find it interesting to see which passages are spoken in French as opposed to Russian, how they speak less French as the book goes on, which characters speak French more than others, etc.

Clicking back and forth on the Kindle can be a bit tedious sometimes, but the added value of leaving the French intact far outweighs this. Furthermore, even if you don't care about the French being left in, their translation is so superior to the others I have read parts from that it's worth it anyway. Garnet in particular translated it into a very, very dry, Victorian English. P&V translated War and Peace so well that it's not boring to read, and furthermore, it's not even difficult to read or understand. They made this book about ten times less intimidating as I thought it would be.


message 35: by MK (last edited Feb 28, 2014 11:10AM) (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Ahhh, I do not love dry, boring Victorian English! Sorry, I did know about the footnote translations of the French in P&V (I almost went back to edit it in, to indicate that, but didn't - I should have).

That means, Garnet is out for me! I love that you know this so well!!

I do take your point about it being interesting to see where they used French, and where Russian. It's a good point. I just don't particularly care for reading French in my books. (It's come up in quite a few of them, recently, too ... heh.)

Have you heard/seen anything about the Brit's? I've heard it's good, but that it got overshadowed by P&Vs which came out just after it was published.

TY for your useful comments! Much appreciated.

(edited many times, to fix autocorrect shenanigans :-p )


Setalpgninnpsekil | 6 comments I don't know too much about it. P&V made a big splash with their (amazing) translation of the Brothers Karamazov when it came out. So big, in fact, that they are overshadowing every new Russian translation being released.

I suggest you read identical passages from both and see which one you like better.

A further note, though. I've read their translations of War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and Brothers Karamazov. A problem I sometimes see in translators is that they tend to make things too much in their own voice. If John Smith, for example, were to translate the Three Musketeers and Les Mis, he always runs the risk of those books not sounding like Dumas and Hugo, but of both sounding like himself. As I've read both works by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky translated by P&V, I can say that they succeed in making the books sound like they were written by different authors all together as far as style is concerned.

If you do skip their translation of War and Peace because the French is a bit much , I HIGHLY suggest you revist them for their translation of the Brothers Karamazov. It's my absolute favorite book, and it was their translation that got me hooked on it.


Setalpgninnpsekil | 6 comments Also, the end notes (which are linked in the kindle) are invaluable in the P&V translation, as they do much to put the novel in its place in history. Makes it much easier to follow.

Don't just take my word for it. Here's an extensive thread on the debate.
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 38: by MK (last edited Feb 28, 2014 11:43AM) (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments TY again. I will certainly check out that thread. I have to save it for tomorrow, though, bc I am at this very afternoon, trying to finish P&V's, and Hayward/Harari's, translations of Doctor Zhivago ;-). I'm reading both, concurrently.

I have a hard due date, of tomorrow, to return the P&V to the library. Saving all the poems for next month, or April, I ha e only the Conclusion and Epilogue, to go in H&H, and some of Return to Varykino, Conclusion, and Epilogue to go in P&V. As you noted about their endnotes to another text, the endnotes by P&V to Zhivago, are really useful.


message 39: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9430 comments Mod
Wow, this was a close back & forth poll.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy was the winner


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