Today is the first day of Russian Reading Month! I hope you’re all ready to crack open your copies of Dostoevsky or Nabokov or Gogol. Right now, my copy of Vladimir Nabokov’s Nikolai Gogol is sitting on my desk next to a glass of frothy, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (it’s nearing summer here, for all you Northern Hemispherers), and I plan on digging in as soon as I’m done writing this post.
I’m not sure if I would classify this particular work as ‘Russian Literature’, seeing as it’s written in English. Some would even go so far as to call Nabokov a quintessentially American writer, and not a Russian one (Nabokov considered himself a ‘cosmopolite’, and noted once in an interview that he was a “perfectly normal trilingual child”). But since this work is a critical study and biography of the great Russian poet-novelist Gogol, I’m reading it as a sort of prelude to Dead Souls. I really know so little about Gogol, and I’ve only ever read one story by him (‘The Overcoat’), so I’m hoping this book will help me along.
Over the next month, I’ll also be tackling Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita and of course, Dead Souls itself. For all of you who are joining in, I won’t really impose any schedules on you, just write reviews or thoughts at a pace comfortable to you, and link them to me so I can create round-up posts.
And finally – a weekly meme, just for fun! Open to everyone, not just those participating in Russian Reading Month :)
What has your relationship with Russian literature been like thus far? What are your expectations for the following month – and perhaps your expectations towards the novel/writer you’ve chosen to read?