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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

7 Russian books

End 2011, I followed this course on Russian literature, which was taught in such an enthusiastic way that you end up leaving the room with the firm decision to actually READ these books that you have just discussed.

Now, Russian classic books are not exactly what you would name 'thin booklets'. And there are many of them. So unconsciously I had always considered the reading of Russian classics as something I would do 'when I am retired'.

Yet, retirement age going up all the time and inspired by the course, I decided to make a shortlist, slice it up (meaning: read one or two of these enormous books per year) and voilà, in a few years I will have at least a basic knowledge of the Russian literature.

So here is my shortlist:
1. Dead souls - Gogol
2. Crime and punishment - Dostoyevsky
3. Anna Karenina - Tolstoy
4. War and peace - Tolstoy
5. The master and Margarita - Bulgakov
6. The cherry orchard - Chekhov (drama)
7. Eugene Onegin - Pushkin (poetry)

If you consider that I have already read Anna Karenina and The master and Margarita and that I am currently finalising my reading of Dead souls, it seems perfectly doable to finish this shortlist in a relatively short time period. So off I go. Next on my list: War and peace - a whopper!

Note: I will read these books in Dutch, in case you wonder; if I read them in Russian, I need decades, not years, to finish this shortlist!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jan Balliauw komt naar onze school!

't Is echt waar, Jan Balliauw (denk aan de onlangs uitgezonden documentairereeks Back in the USSR) komt op woensdag 15 februari naar onze school. Normaal gezien enkel voor cursisten maar ik ben ervan overtuigd dat een telefoontje naar onze school wonderen kan doen :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Russian movies: good stuff!

First of all: С Рождеством - Merry Christmas!
Having Christmas and New Year already a week behind me, it almost escaped my mind. But yes, in Russia Christmas is celebrated on 7 January because the Russian orthodox church uses the old Julian calendar for religious celebration days. So all my best wishes to everyone who is celebrating today!

Apart from that, what I wanted to share with you today is this: I discovered the Russian movie (yes, better late...) and I am enthusiastic! I am not talking about the American movies and television series based on Russian literature I watched so far (and enjoyed). I am not talking about the 'War and Peace' and 'Doctor Zhivago' movies but about 'the real thing': the Russian spoken and Russian made movie:-) And I must admit: they have 'good stuff'!

So much that I don't have time to write anything more now because my next Russian movie is waiting for me (honestly!). But if you are interested (and are not an expert yourself yet), then follow my discoveries on my I can recommend page. The list will be updated regularly!