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Sunday, November 19, 2006


Actually I'm a fairly happy creature these days, rain and mud notwithstanding.
Really I have nothing to say except hi there, just to break throught the blog-block I have going again.
Just read: Till We Have Faces, by you know very well who. Hadn't read it in a loooong time. Pretty gripping stuff: I am Ungit! Brrrrrr!

Reading now: Crime and Punishment. Have never read it, which is delicious. The last time I had a 'Russian' phase was in oh, 1992. High time for another one. If you want to know, the first couple of chapters constitute one of the most heart-wrenching depictions of what alcoholism does to families in --I'm sure -- all of literature. (Angela's ashes is another, of course.) It is a bracing reminder of one of the functions of literature: to bypass the cliche detectors in your brain and slap it with something as if for the first time. All the AA pamphlets in the world can't shake you the way Dostoyevski does when he drags you into a miserable apartment where children are starving (and then beaten for crying with hunger) and a young woman-- their stepsister -- is forced into prostitution to save them (and then is kicked out of the building for being an 'bad' person) all because their father drinks every bit of money that comes his way.

It sounds wretched, and of course it is, but reading it is somehow wonderful. It helps that the translators of my edition are the exquisite team of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volohonski. If memory serves, Heather (my iconography guru) went to St Vlad's with Ms Volohonski and I think Mr Pevear as well. Cool. Plus the book has a nifty cover design, which always helps.

Okay, off to bed now, mainly so I can read.


RW said...

Glad to see you back.

peace out.

RW said...

I just noticed the time.... you are just going to bed at 12.26am!

Mimi said...

I am such a "crawl into bed and read" person! Good to know you are too.

C&P was instrumental in my Orthodox journey.

Rachel said...

Yeah, I read Crime and Punishment a couple winters ago (whilst falling in love with Rachmaninov's Vespers - very fitting). I was surprised how gripping it was...I was expecting to have trouble plowing through it, but instead the bigger issue was putting it down!

MatJenny said...

12:26 -- sadly on the early side for me. I don't really wake up and get moving until about 4 pm! The world just isn't set up for us chronic nightowls. . .
BTW, I misspelled the translators last name; it's Volokhonsky, not Volohonsky. Thought that looked weird.

Anyway, C&R is indeed unputdownable! I'm addicted!utkyhn

The Pleasant Peasant said...

Crime and Punishment is incredible! (Im actually taking a break from writing an essay about it as I type this.)