Last week I talked about synesthesia and other sources of inspiration. As part of that I touched on some of the literary, as opposed to personal, sources of inspiration for my novels. This time around I thought I’d delve into that topic a bit more deeply. No doubt there will be more posts on it […]Read more "Whose overcoat have we come out from under, anyway? Some of the sources for my novels"
Russia’s Lomonosov: Chemist, Courtier, Physicist, Poet Boris N. Menshutkin Russian literature didn’t come into its own until partway through the 19th century. But already in the 18th century it was laying the ground for its later flourishing through the actions of people of genius, whose writing was groundbreaking for its time and whose lives were […]Read more "“Russia’s Lomonosov” by Boris Menshutkin"
Asan Vladimir Makanin “Asan wants money. Asan wants blood.” Within the emerging genre of “Chechen,” as in referring to the recent Chechen wars, prose, Vladimir Makanin’s “Asan” has engendered controversy. To a field zealously guarded by its veterans, the non-veteran Makanin has contributed two works: the novella “Caucasian Captive” (Кавказский пленный) and now the novel […]Read more "“Asan” by Vladimir Makanin"
Kavkazskii plennyi Vladimir Makanin I have to be upfront here and say that I’ve only read Kavkazskii plennyi, not the rest of the stories in this collection, so I can only judge that. But anyone interested in the development of contemporary Russian literature and its relationship with its illustrious past will definitely want to read […]Read more "“Captive of the Caucasus” by Vladimir Makanin and “Captive” by Aleksey Uchitel"
A Double Life Karolina Pavlova Although of course Russian literature is the best literature, or something like that, it does have a significant flaw, which is the dearth of female authors, especially from the Golden Age when Pushkin and his Pleiad were writing. Some have claimed that the brilliance of Karolina Pavlova makes up for […]Read more "“A Double Life” by Karolina Pavlova"
A Hero of Our Time Mikhail Lermontov The first thing I ever read in Russian that was an actual piece of text and not an example sentence was a story about a young Russian officer who ends up amongst a household of smugglers and gets tricked by a pretty girl who, it turns out, is […]Read more "“A Hero of Our Time” by Mikhail Lermontov"
Queen of Spades Michael Shou-Yung Shum What a cracking tale! As soon as I saw the title, I knew I had to read it. Although “Queen of Spades” isn’t my favorite of Pushkin’s stories–that honor goes to his “Little Tragedies”–it’s certainly a classic for a reason. This version, set in a casino in Snoqualmie in […]Read more "“Queen of Spades” by Michael Shou-Yung Shum"