Russian Literature 2014.

With all the talk of 2014 Challenges, I've been thinking ahead, thinking about the challenges I want to join in with as well as some of the ones I want to set for myself. One thing I really would like to do in 2014 is get a lot more acquainted with Russian Literature. I have a lot on my TBR pile: the novels of Dostoyevsky (including a re-read of Crime and Punishment), Eugene Onegin by Pushkin as part of a readalong with Marian, as well as Dead Souls (Gogol), Oblomov (Goncharov), and August 1914 (Solzhenitsyn) on my Classic Club list. I'm also contemplating a re-read of Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, and I want to get a lot more familiar with Turgenev (one of Émile Zola's contemporaries, author of A House of Gentlefolk, On the Eve, and Fathers and Sons). Finally, of course, I want to do a little exploring and discover some authors. And I'm hoping some of you would like to join me!

Because this is a classics blog, I would limit it to classic literature. It can be a novel by a Russian author or a novel set in Russia, and how you choose to define "classic" is up to you. And, of course, you can use books from any other challenge you've set yourself. Finally, you can list list your books before you start, or, like me, you can just explore and read whatever comes your way.

There are four levels:
  • Level one: 1 - 3 books
  • Level two: 4 - 6 books
  • Level three: 7 - 12 books
  • Level four: 12 + books
If there's enough interest, I'll put a post up each quarter for people to link any posts may have written.

So, if you want to join in, write a post on your own blog writing your intentions, then leave me a comment so I know to read it. As for me - I'm going for level three!


Comments

  1. This is SO TEMPTING! I've vowed to read more diverse choices in 2014 and that includes more Russian lit. Ack!

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    1. I hope you do! I want to diversify as well - I think the vast majority of my books are either English lit or French (English translations). Very little of anything else! :)

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    2. Come on Andi. Maybe we could buddy read something together. I'm planning on buddy reading Crime & Punishment with Grace in March. Do you want to join us?

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  2. And here I was thinking I was going to be satisfied with just a few challenges in 2014. But I've just been reading about this argument between Turgenev and Dostoevsky and others that was carried out in fiction, and I love Russian literature anyway...yep, I'm in.

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    1. Yay!

      I was just reading about the argument today, as it happens - did you read about it on Wuthering Expectations?

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    2. Yep, I keep meaning to comment but it's been a busy couple of days and I've been putting out fires or sitting down for 2 minutes at a time.

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    3. Not literally! :) Just running around dealing with everything that pops up.

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    4. Ah, that makes sense! :)

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  3. Oh, how could you tempt me with another challenge?!! Of course, I won't say no! I'm already reading Eugene so another 2 and I could at least make the first challenge level. And you've mentioned most of the Russian novels I've been meaning to read. Great idea, O!

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    1. Thank you! Glad you're joining in! :D

      I'm starting to see a worrying amount of challenges I want to join... I keep thinking "one more", but then an irresistible one pops up! I think I'll join them and go for the lowest level!

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    2. Yes, that's the trick: go for the lowest level, and also try to find books that will count for 2 or 3 challenges. Looking at it that way makes it appear much better ………. at least that's what I keep telling myself ……. ;-)

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  4. Russian lit - there is no way I am passing this up!! Now to try to choose titles...

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    1. Awesome! Glad you're joining :)

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  5. A Russian challenge is always a good idea. I will be reading Eugene Oneginwith the readalong, and if I do not get too distracted will continue my reading of Dostoevsky and Herzen. With any luck also some ambitious Tolstoy, too.

    Honestly, more and more pieces are coming together the more I read. This long, extended debate these fiction writers are having in the mid-19th century (and onward, far onward) is amazing.

    If you - o, Jean, any of you - come across Isaiah Berlin's Russian Thinkers, it is easily worth the effort.

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    1. ...and there we see some more things coming together in my mind, since I found out who Berlin was just two days ago.

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    2. I'll check that out, thanks Tom.

      Glad you're both joining. Looking forward to get some ideas from you, too! :)

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    3. That's it. The universe is definitely telling me to read this Berlin. A book about him showed up on my desk at work, which makes 3 times in less than a week. Somebody had better give me Russian Thinkers for Christmas...

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    4. Tom, thanks so much for this recommendation! One of the challenges I have with Russian literature is trying to get inside of the author's head. They think so differently than I do. This book looks like it might give me some badly needed insight.

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  6. Loved Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Dostoevsky's The Idiot, so adding Crime and Punishment to my list and will go for level one, and might even attempt that dusty, unpened copy of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin my husband gave me as a birthday gift many years ago. Thanks for the invitation. :)

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  7. I have some Russian Classic's Lit in my shelves, but I don't know if I could manage reading at least 3 books 'cause my RC schedule already full.
    But I still want to try at least one book in a year ... so count me in :D

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  8. My personal challenge is to read more African Lit in 2014, but a Russian novel would be a good change of pace, too. I may just sign up on the wimpy 1-4 level, but count me in!

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    1. Not wimpy at all! They can be quite dense, better not to rush through a load :)

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    2. The wimpier you are the more challenges you can join! Count me as wimpy too! ;-)

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  9. Here is my link: http://cleoclassical.blogspot.ca/2013/12/russian-literature-challenge-2014.html

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  10. Oh, this is so good! I have been thinking of going back to Russian Literature for some time now, but putting it off because it feels like going to school again. I went to school in Russia, so I read most of the Russian classics there, but there are still titles I've skipped, and this challenge seems to be what I need to finally get back to them! Well, at least I won't get grades for it and I will not have to write compositions :) I can finally just enjoy it! :)

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    1. And here is my sign-up post!
      http://irrelevant-scribble.blogspot.cz/2013/12/russian-literature-2014.html

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    2. Great, shall go look now :)

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  11. I thought I had written a comment already, but perhaps not. I'm in! Especially for an excuse to re-read Anna Karenina over and over again :D

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    1. I may join you for that! I want to re-read it, give it another chance. Didn't like it so much first time around!

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  12. I wasn't planning on any challenges for 2014, but do want to read Crime & Punishment this winter. May need to readjust my plans ;-)

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    1. Yay! I'll be reading that as well :)

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  13. OK, here's my signup post: http://howlingfrog.blogspot.com/2013/12/russian-literature-challenge-2014.html

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  14. I have several Russians on my list now this will be fun. Looking at some classic Russian drama, more Nabokov and a few Tolstoy novels that I haven't had the chance to read yet.

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    1. Invitation to a Beheading is one of my favourite Nabokovs - you read that one yet?

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  15. Count me in! I have a few Russian classics on my list and was wondering when the best time would be to read them. One of them is War and Peace, so trying to decide if I should go for it.

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  16. I'd love to join in. Next year is going to be a year of reading diversely for me, but it's time I tried a few of the Russian greats. My post is here, and thank you for doing this!

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    1. No problem :) Going to read your post now...

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  17. I'd always dismissed Russian literature as super hard and intimidating but after reading and loving Anna Karenina this year I think it is time to experience the Russians again. I think I may have to join...

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    1. I always think the same - it seems so... uber-serious, so scary. But I've no doubt at least some of us will change our mind before this time next year! :)

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  18. I might sign up for this challenge. Last year I read a lot of Russian lit not for a challenge or anything, I just happened to read a lot of books either written by Russian authors or set in Russia. It was very enlightening and fun to read....a lot of great works out there to choose from! Anna Karenina is of course fantastic and a wonderful read if you are entering this challenge for the first time :)

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    1. Enlightening is the right word! From the little I read, and I'm thinking mainly of Dostoyevsky, they can be particularly insightful.

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  19. I didn't realize Russian literature was so popular! I hadn't planned on joining any long challenges next year, but I do feel a bit of a gap in my reading as I've never read a single Russian author. I'll just aim to read one short novel next year, as I'm afraid I won't have time for more. I wrote about joining this in today's post.

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    1. Sounds good, glad you're joining :) Will go read your post...

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  20. I'm in. Here's my post: http://sadiebellereads.blogspot.com/2013/12/russian-literature-2014.html

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    1. Awesome, shall go look... :)

      Thanks for joining!

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  21. Thank you for hosting this wonderful challenge! I love Russian lit but read none of it in 2013... so sad :( I'll fix it next year.

    Here's my starting post: http://bookishrealm.blogspot.fi/2013/12/russian-literature-2014-challenge.html

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  22. Thank you for hosting.
    I wrote a one post for all the 2014 Reading Challenges I've signed up for.
    For this challenge 1-3 books
    http://impressionsinink.blogspot.com/2013/12/2014-reading-challenges.html

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  23. I will attempt to read 3 books
    http://www.duskyliterati.com/challenges-2/2013-challenges/current-challenges-l-z/russian/

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    1. Great stuff, I'll go and read your post :)

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  24. I am currently reading a number of Yiddish classics, some by Russians. This is a neglected but very rewarding reading area.

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    1. I'll look forward to your posts, I don't know any Yiddish classics.

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  25. I am going to attempt this as well

    http://adammstone.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/russian-literature-2014/

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    1. Awesome, shall go read your post. Thanks for joining :)

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  26. Here is my sign on post

    http://rereadinglives.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-zelmenyaners-family-by-saga-moyshe.html

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    1. I am looking for Russian born Yiddish writers, if anyone has any suggestions, please let us know. Thanks

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    2. Cheers, shall go read. If I happen to come across any Yiddish writers I'll tweet you :)

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  27. thanks for hosting this challenge, it looks like a blast. here's my link: http://romanoir.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/russian-literature-challenge-2014/

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    1. Excellent, thank you.

      I hope you enjoy it :)

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  28. I'm in! My sign-up post is up.

    http://wutheringreads.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/2014-challenges-sign-up/

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  29. I just signed up, but I don't really know how many books I want to read or what authors :)

    http://www.lithitchhiker.com/2013/12/in-2014-i-want-to.html

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    1. Great! I don't really have a specific list either :)

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  30. Here is my post on The End of Everything by David Bergelson. translated from Yiddish it centers on wealthy Ukrainian Jews in late Tsarist Russia

    http://rereadinglives.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-end-of-everything-by-david.html

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    1. Great, thank you. I've retweeted it :)

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  31. Hi O, thanks for creating this challenge. I have a few Russian authors on my Classics Club list and this will definitely motivate me to read them. My sign-up post is here: http://loosheesh.booklikes.com/post/748338/russian-literature-2014

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    1. Good stuff, I'll go check out your post :)

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  32. Hey O. Always lovely to visit your blog - I love reading about your hens and the other birds. I don't comment a lot because I can't comment on Blogger from my phone or iPad. Anyway, lovely challenge and I'm looking forward to reading a lot on your blog about the Russian authors and maybe add a few books to my lists as well as read a bit myself. I'm only going for the first level though.
    http://christinarosendahl.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/reading-challenges-2014/

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    1. Thanks for joining :D

      I have problems commenting a lot too, don't have Broadband and the dongle frequently runs out! :)

      I shall go read your post...

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  33. Well hello. I found you through claire's blog. It's funny because I've wanted to read some Russian Lit for a while now but just haven't taken the plunge. However I decided I'd read Crime & Punishment in March. Now that I've seen this challenge I'm keen to try to read up to 3 Russian novels this year. Hope I won't be over my head but am going to give a good shot. Here's my blog http://didibooksenglish.wordpress.com I'll certainly do a blog post stating that I'm joining this challenge. Looking forward to following everybody's Russian journey....

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    1. Awesome, thanks for joining us! :)

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  34. Here's my blog post http://didibooksenglish.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/russian-literature-2014/?preview=true&preview_id=2468&preview_nonce=27602399a3&post_format=standard

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  35. Cleopatra was nice enough to push me to join this challenge. Which is acceptable, I already have plans for some Russian Literature this year. Here is my opening post.

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    1. Brilliant, glad you're joining in :)

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  36. This sounds amazing! How am I just seeing this?! I haven't written about it on the blog yet, but I would definitely like to join. I'll commit to level 1 because I have so many other things I'm vowing to complete as well. I've been meaning to read Dead Souls for ages! I'll be interested to see your review on Crime and Punishment because I loved and hated that novel. Can't wait to get started. Thanks for hosting!

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    1. Thanks for joining :)

      Looking forward to re-reading Crime and Punishment - I can't hardly remember it, but I think I had a similar reaction!

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  37. I dearly love Russian literature. One can never read Anna Karenina too often! ;) I'm certainly joining, so happy you're hosting. Not sure what I'll read yet, but it will be sure to include at least two works, hopefully more. (I'd really like to complete War and Peace.)

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    1. Awesome, glad you're joining in :)

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  38. I know I'm really late but would dearly love to participate. Here is my link: http://chapterofdreams.com/?p=7292

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    1. Great! I shall check out your post :)

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  39. Oh this is interesting. I'd like to join as well and have already passed level 1- since 2014 began I've read "Notes from underground", Chekhov's 40 stories and "Fathers and sons", and am currently reading Tolstoy's shorter fiction at the moment (they still count if I'd read them before seeing this post of yours, I hope?)
    (And yeah, I'm a stranger here. Hi :D)

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    1. HI :) I'm sorry I'm so late in replying - I never got a notification for your comment! Thanks for joining, and of course all books you've read so far count :)

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    2. Haha, I didn't remember having written this comment when commenting on your "Daisy" post.

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  40. Hi, is it too late to join? I would be interested in doing the Level 3!

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    1. Awesome! No, it's not too late at all :) Glad you're joining us!

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  41. Russian literature blog is great. you writing structure is interesting to read excellent scholarship essays

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