Discovering Russian Literature discussion

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NEW MEMBERS, INTRODUCTIONS > Suggestions and Comments From the Group

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message 1: by Amalie (last edited Jul 12, 2011 01:04AM) (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
The purpose of this topic is so we can ask questions, comment or make suggestions for the group.

I felt, there were some confusions about "August Nominations" from both members side and mine. So here, this topic is open for any suggestions for the moderator (me), or to get feedback from the group or anything else, that you don't know where else to comment!

Any other ideas, share it here. I'd like this place continue to be a good reading group.


message 2: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
I'm currently interested in your thoughts about these new ideas from some of our group members:

Side-Read discussions on more contemporary writings

Play/Drama reading as a separate part of group-reading


Say 'Yes' to your choice/s

-----------------------

I say YES to Play/Drama reading


message 3: by Ruja (new)

Ruja YES to Play/Drama


message 4: by Dorly (new)

Dorly I say YES to Play/Drama reading


message 5: by Lea (new)

Lea Bech-Sjøthun | 3 comments YES to Contemporary writings... preferably "long fiction" - Death & the Penguin is on my to-read list :-)
As a general rule I'm interested in long fiction, although I might join in occationally on other reads.


message 6: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Ramey (steveglines) | 2 comments I'd like to see more contemporary writings perhaps even non-Russian writers working in the same style and tradition.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes to it all.


message 8: by Natasha (new)

Natasha | 37 comments YES to Play/Drama reading


message 9: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi Yes - to all of it. Goood idea.


message 10: by Terry (new)

Terry Yes to all, though more slanted towards contemporary than drama


message 11: by Sharie (new)

Sharie Yes, to all! :)


Maurizio (matemati) Yes to Play/Drama


message 13: by Annie (new)

Annie Jalali | 1 comments yes


message 14: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 39 comments i'd be open to reading anything if there's an english translation available for free online. i need to cut back on my book purchasing :P


message 15: by Kokeshi (new)

Kokeshi Kristen wrote: "i'd be open to reading anything if there's an english translation available for free online. i need to cut back on my book purchasing :P"

Try the library. It is the only way I can afford to read as much as I do!! :)


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris | 32 comments Maybe adjust the frequency of the group read to be every month and include contemporary Russian fiction as well as classic. Also, we could add some short plays into the cycle along with the short stories. Adding two more reads into the cycle would make things too hard for me to stay current. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but that's my two cents. I get stuff from the library and they only have one copy of Master and Margarita that came in yesterday, so I'm already playing catch up. Plus, I have class homework and other book clubs.


message 17: by Vrixton (new)

Vrixton Phillips (sirredcrosse) | 24 comments Yes to both, honestly.
Diversity is the spice of life, though I can understand how that might be to the chagrin of someone who wants to do it all.

I would also suggest including Poetry with Drama as a separate section, though how that would work, I'm not sure.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Suggestions: a fiction reading of classic Russian lit every two months so there is adequate time to read the novels. A monthly reading of plays/poetry/stories of both contemporary and classic writers. Of course, that leaves the question of when to read longer works of fiction by more contemporary authors--consider them a part of the longer readings every two months?


message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) Is it possible (maybe once a year, maybe from January to April) to read and discuss larger works which would take more than 2 months?


message 20: by Mayra (new)

Mayra Escobar Hidalgo (mehidalgo) well, Id like to read contemporary literature. and well poetry, and also I'd like to read stories about Russia by non russian writers.


message 21: by Rozzer (new)

Rozzer | 13 comments I'd like to see a discussion of French perceptions of Russia, to include Custine in the 19th Century and Gide and Barbusse and Romains in the 20th. Discussing a whole culture's reactions to another culture may permit us to get away from the almost inevitable personal subjectivity involved when perceptions are approached on an individual level.


message 22: by Daria (new)

Daria | 4 comments I would love to join a discussion on Dovlatov's books: A Foreign Woman, The Reserve, Suitcase. Please pick one of these books for your next group reads


message 23: by Daria (new)

Daria | 4 comments I also say 'Yes' to The Brothers Karamazov!


message 24: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) Daria wrote: "I would love to join a discussion on Dovlatov's books: A Foreign Woman, The Reserve, Suitcase. Please pick one of these books for your next group reads"

Dovlatov==a new author to me. Always like discovering things--thanks!


message 25: by Thira (new)

Thira Mohamad  | 4 comments Prison camp literature, anyone? I became interested in this area after having to compare Shalamov and Solzhenitsyn in my research paper.

Also, has anyone read Evgenia Ginzburg's 'Journey into the Whirlwind'? That's high up on my list.

And yes to Brothers K!


message 26: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) Filzah wrote: "Prison camp literature, anyone? I became interested in this area after having to compare Shalamov and Solzhenitsyn in my research paper.

Also, has anyone read Evgenia Ginzburg's 'Journey into the ..."


Into the Whirlwind is one of my favorites.

Have you read Eyewitness Auschwitz? It is horrific.


message 27: by Alan (new)

Alan | 22 comments I'd also like to read plays and short story collections.


message 28: by Susan from MD (new)

Susan from MD | 9 comments I will be reading The First Circle sometime between October and December, if anyone is interested in reading it. I have been trying to clear some books off my TBR pile and this one has been on it for a while!


message 29: by Faye (new)

Faye I've just started reading that this week!


message 30: by Susan from MD (new)

Susan from MD | 9 comments Faye, I'm starting The First Circle today, as I had to finish off two other books before tackling this one.


message 31: by Alan (new)

Alan | 22 comments Isn't there a new translation of this? Does anyone
know who it is by?


message 32: by Janice (new)

Janice Stein I've been reading English classics lately and am planning on getting into some of the Russian classics. As I have been reading different thing about Russian classic and different translations I have come to the conclusion that alot of people like the team of Pevear and Volokhonsky for translators. ( As opossed to Constance Gardner) The English novels that I am reading are written in the 1800's and have the verbage of that era which isn't translated but with the Russian books--How much of the feeling of having been written say in the 1800's is lost in the translation. I wouldn't want to read a classic that has been translated into sounding like something modern. I hope I have explained what I am trying to ask. Thanks Janice in Peoria AZ


message 33: by C.P. (last edited Oct 01, 2012 04:52PM) (new)

C.P. Lesley (cplesley) Pevear and Volokhonsky are very popular, to be sure. I think it is the Oprah effect.

For what it's worth, the Russian translator I respect most hates P/V. She says they are not translators but transcribers.

I read Russian, but not if I am reading for pleasure. So my comment is more personal and less categorical. When I read the Garnett translation of Anna Karenina, I loved the book. When I read the new P/V translation, I stopped, bored to tears, on p. 100. Was that the fault of the translation? Not sure. I may just be less tolerant of 19th-century exposition these days.

One person's view. But I would also note that the Garnett translations are often free, or at least very low cost.


message 34: by MountainAshleah (new)

MountainAshleah (mountainshelby) Interesting perspective C.P. Thanks for the comment!


message 35: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
C.P. wrote: "When I read the Garnett translation of Anna Karenina, I loved the book. When I read the new P/V translation, I stopped, bored to tears, on p. 100. Was that the fault of the translation? Not sure. I may just be less tolerant of 19th-century exposition these days...."

I agree with Anna Karenina's Garnett translation. I own it and I had no problem with it and true, most of the e-book available in Garnett translation.

However, personally I didn't like her treatment of Dostoevsky. Tolstoy, I guess it ok. But I think the readers should be grateful to her because she's the person who made the English readers to access Russian literature.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

C.P. wrote: "For what it's worth, the Russian translator I respect most hates P/V. She says they are not translators but tra..."

That's very interesting to hear! But they do have good arguments on why P/V beats Garnett. Here's a link

From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
http://www.oxforddnb.com/

"Constance Garnett's requirements for a good translation were sympathy for the author and a love of words and their meanings. She herself had faults: her dialogues are sometimes stiff; her transliteration of Russian names is illogical and inconsistent; she makes many errors. But the speed at which she worked, which was partly to blame for these, allowed her to maintain stylistic unity. Her descriptive passages are often exquisitely done and she eschews linguistic fads or slang. Conrad, for whom Turgenev was Constance Garnett, compared her to a great musician interpreting a great composer. For Katherine Mansfield, Constance Garnett transformed the lives of younger authors by revealing a new world. Without her translations, H. E. Bates believed, modern English literature itself could not have been what it is (Bates, 120)."

@ Amalie

Her Brothers K of Dostoevsky was good.


message 37: by Janice (new)

Janice Stein I have the PV translation of Anna K and then I went online for the Constance Garnett's translation. In the first paragraph comparing the two I see in two places one translator translated 2 and the other 3 in two different spots. To me if I was taking a Russian class and I translated 2 for 3 or visa versa that would be failing. Do P/V when they are translating sound too modern or do they stay with the feel of the time the writer is writing.?

Janice


message 38: by Amyjzed (new)

Amyjzed | 44 comments Have we done Anna Karenina as a group read? I am not necessarily requesting it, but I do like to go back and check out discussions and maybe add to them later. I read the book almost two years ago now, but with the movie out I am thinking about it more.


message 39: by Blumenfeld (new)

Blumenfeld (Die_Libelle) | 19 comments I'd love to recommend Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog (or Dog's Heart, whichever way you prefer to call it), which is a very good book in my opinion. Or what about Petersburg by Andrey Bely?

I hope it's fine if I chime in.


message 40: by Amyjzed (new)

Amyjzed | 44 comments I am interested in joining the group read for Dr. Zhivago... Does anyone want to make a recommendation on a specific translation/edition for this? I have gone with P&V for a few novels in the past.


message 41: by Blumenfeld (new)

Blumenfeld (Die_Libelle) | 19 comments Amyjzed wrote: "I am interested in joining the group read for Dr. Zhivago... Does anyone want to make a recommendation on a specific translation/edition for this? I have gone with P&V for a few novels in the past."

P&V are probably fine. So far I've seen only their Karenina and it is the closest to the original I could find. I checked word for word. (I'm a Russian speaker)


message 42: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
Anya wrote: "Don wrote: "Hi, Just checking to see if there is a March group read? Hope all is well with all the moderators. This is a great group."

I second this idea!"


Sorry for not being around. I was in a tight schedule and didn't have enough time to be online. Will let you know about the new plans soon!


message 43: by Janith (new)

Janith Pathirage (pathirage) | 81 comments I think it'll be great to have a weekly /monthly fun quiz to test our knowledge on Russian literature and the authors. Something creative like a game.


message 44: by dely (new)

dely | 340 comments Andrea wrote: "I'd like to see a forum, or thread, on Russian Sci-Fi and Fantasy, if you think it fits the group. If you don't think it fits, can you think of another group on Goodreads where I could find someth..."

Feel free to open a discussion about it. I think it would be interesting.


message 45: by dely (last edited Mar 10, 2015 12:17AM) (new)

dely | 340 comments Janith wrote: "I think it'll be great to have a weekly /monthly fun quiz to test our knowledge on Russian literature and the authors. Something creative like a game."

There were some in the past but weren't that active, there aren't a lot of active members in this group:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Usually I do the quizzes and trivia questions we can find in the book page, on the right side.
For example: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...
On the right, above "quotes".

Or you can also click on "explore" on the top of the homepage and click on "trivia" and "quizzes" and look there for something about Russian literature.


message 46: by Janith (new)

Janith Pathirage (pathirage) | 81 comments dely wrote: "Janith wrote: "I think it'll be great to have a weekly /monthly fun quiz to test our knowledge on Russian literature and the authors. Something creative like a game."

There were some in the past ..."


I took the fist quiz on authors and poets . Really good stuff !!. This is exactly what I was talking about. Please keep it up ! I joined this group recently so missed all the fun.


message 47: by Bigollo (last edited Mar 10, 2015 01:28PM) (new)

Bigollo | 104 comments Andrea wrote: "I'd like to see a forum, or thread, on Russian Sci-Fi and Fantasy, if you think it fits the group. If you don't think it fits, can you think of another group on Goodreads where I could find someth..."

Since Russian Sci-Fi and Fantasy is part of Russian Literature it would fit the group. If you (or anybody else) open this thread, i would support it (by reading and participating). Fantasy is a native genre for the Russian lit (starting with Nikolai Gogol), and Sci-Fi was one of the few genres where it was still somewhat possible to express oneself during the Soviet era. I am absolutely ignorant of what has been written in Russian Sci-Fi in the last decades. Would enjoy to explore... And it seems our group needs some refreshment anyway. A new thread might do the trick.


message 48: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "I'd like to see a forum, or thread, on Russian Sci-Fi and Fantasy, if you think it fits the group. If you don't think it fits, can you think of another group on Goodreads where I could find someth..."

I was not around for almost a month, I can see you've already started a thread. It's nice to see such willingness for participation and new ideas. I can move the thread to "Contemporary Fiction" folder and mark it "important" to prioritize it, if you like. Feel free to ask anything, this is a group open for new ideas.


message 49: by Abram (new)

Abram | 4 comments I read a lot of French literature(Camus etc). I believe I lot of that literature is influence by Russian literature to some degree. Is there any room to discussing non-Russian literature that is influence by Russian books? As long as we discuss parallels in this group?


message 50: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
Abram wrote: "I read a lot of French literature(Camus etc). I believe I lot of that literature is influence by Russian literature to some degree. Is there any room to discussing non-Russian literature that is ..."

At the moment, I'm not sure but I'll consider it.


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