Posts Tagged: tolstoy

What to Read When You’re in Russia

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Sally McGrane, author of the debut novel Moscow at Midnight, shares a reading list!

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What to Read When You Want to Curl Up with a Good Book

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Rumpus editors share their favorite winter reads.

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A Language in Constant Rebellion: Talking with Aura Xilonen

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Aura Xilonen discusses her novel, Gringo Champion, the realities of immigration, translating texts, and her love of cinema.

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The Rumpus Interview with Larissa MacFarquhar

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Larissa MacFarquhar discusses her book Strangers Drowning, why she finds nonfiction so compelling, and how she gets inside the minds of her subjects.

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Gaitskill on Tolstoy

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Mary Gaitskill wrote for the Atlantic on Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina and the complexities of personality: Everyone says Anna Karenina is about individual desire going against society, but I actually think the opposite is stronger: the way societal forces limit the expression of the individual.

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The Rumpus Interview with Paul Griner

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Paul Griner talks about his newest novel, Second Life, his just-released story collection Hurry Please I Want to Know, putting real life into fiction, and whether creative writing can be taught.

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Stop Worrying About What Comes Next

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At The Millions, Jonathan Russell Clark analyzes several last sentences from well-known novels by Hemingway, Tolstoy, Morrison, and Roth. He pays particular attention to the craftsmanship necessary to write these sentences, and considers how last sentences work to reinforce larger themes within a novel: For writers, the last sentences aren’t about reader responsibility at all — it’s […]

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The Unhappy Marriage Rule

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For the New York Times‘s Bookends column, authors Charles McGrath and Leslie Jamison share their thoughts about what they perceive to be the best portrayals of marriage in literature. While McGrath argues that the more interesting literary marriages tend to be unhappy and failing, Jamison explores relationships within Jack Gilbert’s poems, which characterize love “as a state of […]

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A Sonata’s Variation

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So now, 125 years after Kreutzer’s 1889 publication, Tolstoy’s wife gets to have her say. Sofiya Tolstoy, indignant about the violent and misogynistic plot of her husband’s The Kreutzer Sonata, wrote a novella in response to the book from the female’s character point of view. Over at Slate, Ron Rosenbaum writes about this long believed lost text, […]

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Exploring the “Russian Soul”

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For the New York Times, Francine Prose and Benjamin Moser share their experiences reading 19th century Russian literature. While Prose shows an appreciation for the timeless themes of Tolstoy and Gogol, Moser contends that what makes 19th century Russian writers distinctive is the way their work “echoed their particular national history.” 

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The Science of Why You Can’t Read Good Literature

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Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon: But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we […]

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Bringing Tolstoy to the West

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More people were reading Tolstoy than any other author in translation at the beginning of the 20th century, but as late as the 1880s, few non-Russians had even heard of him. Translators were deterred partly because of the length of his works and complexities of language, not to mention his overwhelming Russian-ness. At the Financial Times, Rosamund […]

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