Tag Archives: Russian

The Double
Fyodor Dostoevsky

There are many things I’m tempted to say about Dostoevsky’s novel(la?) The Double: A Petersburg Poem, and all of them are false…

First Love
Ivan Turgenev

I think the major strength of First Love is also its greatest weakness. Towards the end, I really did not enjoy reading this book. I mean, it’s so bleak! I’d say it’s bleak enough to be called blique

The Golovlovs
Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin

You can crow up and down that The Golovlovs is an authentic Russian novel all you want: that’s not going to save it from being a poorly written, poorly crafted book of little literary merit…

Notes from Underground
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Notes from Underground is an…interesting novella that was probably much more shocking back in 19th century Russia than it is now…

Oblomov
Ivan Goncharov

So, why is this novel great? The story seems, surprisingly enough, rather unextraordinary once you get past the first 150 pages, after all. Well, there are three things that Goncharov does, and does incredibly well, which I’ll explain…

Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. Yes, Lolita is a novel about child exploitation. That’s one of the reasons why I vowed I’d never read it, or anything else by Nabokov—and I probably never would have, had it not been assigned by my first English professor in my first English class at Berkeley

The Defense
Vladimir Nabokov

Yet another of Nabokov’s Russian novels, The Defense (also known as The Luzhin Defense, or Zashchita Luzhina) is rather delightfully surprising…

Fathers and Sons
Ivan Turgenev

Many of those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of 19th century Russian literature. So, come the summer of 2002, it seemed strange to me that I’d never read Fathers and Sons

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace is, and always will be, I believe, unparalleled as a master literary work…

Smoke
Ivan Turgenev

Okay, maybe this book wasn’t that great. But, man, I just have a soft spot for Turgenev…