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Old 05.26.2006, 07:03 PM   #1
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so--- i wrote the following this morning. posted here for all book fiends.

---------

I started reading the novel yesterday, and had a great time, and many laughs, and I wanted to propose that we advance very slowly, at the rate of a chapter a day (there are 12 chapters in the first volume, and 4 in the 2nd one), for the following reasons:

1) 19th century novels were published in installments on the newspapers; they were the soap operas of the day. In that sense they were designed to be consumed in parts, and they were armed with literary devices that created suspense between each episode (like with TV, it was all about the ratings-- the readership). The reason people like qprogeny bitch of tomes with "a bazillion words" is because-- duh!-- they don't get that those words were NOT meant to be read in a single sitting. Just like, ha ha hah, Desperate Housewives, ha ha ha, is not meant to be watched in a day at the movies. Consider the hemorrhoids.

2) I want to read this book as slowly as it is possible, and I recommend others do too. While I am a speed reader and a great devourer of text, some things are meant to be savored, with the greatest possible delight, rather than gulped down in a hurry. I mean there are gems such as these that require close inspection for maximum enjoyment:

The chamber was of a familiar kind, inasmuch as the inn was also of a familiar kind-- that is, precisely like all inns in provincial capitals, where for two rubles a day the transients receive a restful bedroom with cockroaches peeking out of every corner like so many black plums and with a door, always barricaded with a bureaus, leading to an adjoining apartment, which apartment is always taken by a fellow guest who is taciturn and placid yet exceedingly inquisitive, interested in knowing all the details about the latest transient.

Have you guys realized how every description is dripping with irony and sarcasm? This man was a master of the zinger, and I cannot go past any single paragraph without having a good laugh. Really, the slower you go, the more fun--and funny--it becomes.

Then there are the hilarious-yet-startling poetic images that cause the methodical derangement of the senses that Rimbaud was so fond of, just like this one that follows in the same paragraph as the description above. Hallucinate it for a moment:

The corner one of these shops--or, to put it better, its window--was occupied by a vendor of hot mead, with a samovar of ruddy copper and a face as ruddy as his samovar, so that from afar one might think that there were two samovars standing in the window, if only one of them were not sporting a beard as black as pitch.

Didn't that just heat up some unknown cluster of neurons in your brain?

3) People have other things to do, other books to read; and work, friends, family, appointments, relations, and addictions to look after. Keeping it slow (slow and thorough) guarantees that everyone can keep up and that everyone pays attention to the ever-important details that make up this book. So far the descriptions are much more interesting than the plot (and I have other brilliant descriptions I'd like to share-- but later).

4) There were a few words I didn't know that called for a dictionary. "Dimity", "dickey", "brummagem", "pallet" (not what you think), "calcimined". I also wanted to find out about the mechanics of whist. And hurried reading does not allow for such loving excursions.

5) It's summer reading. When reading on a hammock, you can read only one chapter before you fall into a delicious slumber.
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Old 05.26.2006, 07:33 PM   #2
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answer, bitches
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Old 05.26.2006, 07:36 PM   #3
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Trust !@#$%! to turn Gogol into intellectual porn.

Delish.
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Old 05.26.2006, 08:34 PM   #4
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Black plums are shit.

But I'm typically a slow reader, so this works great for me. I guess somewhere a long the way I missed which edition we decided on, thus I still don't have a copy of the book...so uh. You know, this seems key.....
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Old 05.27.2006, 01:25 AM   #5
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I won't be able to get the book until Sunday at the earliest.
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Old 05.27.2006, 01:46 AM   #6
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If this will be a book club of primarily classic literature, might I suggest that when we pick a classic book we have the option of purchasing the Barnes and Noble classic editions, if they are available. "Dead Souls" is a B&N classic that can be purchased either in the store or online, and I find they have really great translations of many international novels, and often the B&N classic books are around seven dollars.
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Old 05.27.2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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yeah it's been picked already, the modern library edition. bernard guerney translation (fucking hilarious guy, read his intro).
i got mine at the local public library for $0.
modern library is available pretty much EVERYWHERE.

amazon selling it for $10.40

--
oh hm that's a revision. i have the 1965 edition. whatever, as long as we all READ :P
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Old 05.27.2006, 01:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
yeah it's been picked already, the modern library edition. bernard guerney translation (fucking hilarious guy, read his intro).
i got mine at the local public library for $0.
modern library is available pretty much EVERYWHERE.

amazon selling it for $10.40

I'm off to Borders soon. Spasiba!
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Old 05.27.2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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I agree a book like this should be a slow read... I'm a huge advocate of reading almost painfully slowly in order to truly grasp the nuances of the text. I do this in my classroom and often have to defend the minimal amount of literature that is read... but what is read is truly understood and appreciated.

I'm off to buy the book right now... actually was just checking on the ed. to buy.

Won't get started for a couple days; wanted to finish up Tom Sawyer as a welcome treat to invite summer.

(Gogol Bordello, by the way, is a fucking outstanding band and do deserve thier own thread.)
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Old 05.27.2006, 03:14 PM   #10
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im actually using an older version not the "revised" one

in any case yes ha hah, bordello kind of guy, they are awesome too

ive wanted to see them live like forever
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Old 05.27.2006, 03:19 PM   #11
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so Dead Souls is the first book? I've read & have that one.

I expected more, but it's still good.
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Old 05.29.2006, 05:54 PM   #12
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so... im trying to not keep reading but if this doesn't get started soon i'll just keep reading. patience is not exactly my forte.
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Old 05.29.2006, 05:56 PM   #13
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the damn bookstore didn't have the right edition... I'm on hiatus...
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Old 05.29.2006, 05:57 PM   #14
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I'm starting tonight, as I alluded to in another thread.

Though I do wonder why there have not been many replys to these threads.
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Old 05.29.2006, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Пятхъдесят Шест
Though I do wonder why there have not been many replys to these threads.

because most people don't really read, the just PRETEND to be smart on the internet.
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Old 05.29.2006, 06:11 PM   #16
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...

Ah! You've caught me. I'm ruined.
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Old 05.29.2006, 06:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by !@#$%!
patience is not exactly my forte.

me either...must be my Italian blood.
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Old 05.29.2006, 07:31 PM   #18
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I didn't even know about this. I love reading but I never finish the books I start. This should be good for me; I'm way better at finishing books when I have a motivation beyond "increasing my knowledge". It's a good motive, but it ends up convincing me that starting a new book halfway through the other one is perfectly fine.

How does this work exactly? Obviously we're attempting to read it at the same time, but what is involved beyond that?

I have the book, the Penguin Classics Edition - I just checked a couple of stores, the only major bookstores around, and neither have the Modern Library edition. Is the edition incredibly important?
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Old 05.29.2006, 07:43 PM   #19
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What is the book? I will buy it tomorrow.
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Old 05.29.2006, 07:44 PM   #20
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Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls
Translated by Bernard Guerney, I guess
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