08 January, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (103)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week, my teaser is from Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (or Dostoyevsky or Dostoevskii or however you like to spell it) translated by Constance Garnett. I recently read Notes from Underground for school and became interested in reading another work of his. Like all the Russian books that I've read, Crime and Punishment rambles on with long sentences, various tangents, extensive description, and lots of internal monologue, but the characters are interesting.

(This is not the edition I have. But since the edition I took out from the library is a falling-apart, yellowed, Modern Library version published in 1950, I couldn't exactly find the cover via image search.)

Pyotr Petrovitch belonged to that class of persons, on the surface very polite in society, who make a great point of punctiliousness, but who, directly they are crossed in anything, are completely disconcerted, and become more like sacks of flour than elegant and lively men of society. Again all was silent; Raskolnikov was obstinately mute, Avdotya Romanovna was unwilling to open the conversation too soon.
-p. 291


Have you ever read a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky? What are your favorite "classic" books, Russian or otherwise?


-----The Golden Eagle

45 comments:

Pat Hatt said...

Never read this one, of course heard of it. As for fav classics hmmm usually changes dependingon the day.

Elaine Smith said...

I read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. As far as Russian novels go, I loved Anna Karenina - I read it on my train journeys from school and ended up wishing I had to travel more than one stop ;)

Ghadeer said...

Crime and Punishment is one of my favourites. I remember being fascinated for quite a long time after I was done with it. Let us know what you think of it :)

Gabriel said...

I actually read this almost a decade ago and it's still fresh in my mind. It's such a brilliant piece of literature. The Brothers Karamazov, The Gambler, Notes from the Underground are also extraordinary books.
Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are generally considered the best in Russian lit, but personally I prefer the latter. (themes are more interesting.)

Jessica G. said...

This is one of those books that I feel like I can't refer to myself as "literary" until I've read it. But I just can't get past the first few pages. Too wordy and tangling.
My favorite classic is Jane Eyre. It's refreshing to have a heroine that isn't devastatingly gorgeous.

Nay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nay said...

How are you finding this book? I found it difficult to get through, quite frustrating at times, but like another blogger says, it stays with you for a long time. I enjoyed your TT, thanks!

Nay x
magavtelanata TT#2

Carole Anne Carr said...

I just love him, and many Russian novelists and playwrights such of Chekhov. One favourite is Nabokov, amazing literature, and of course Tolstoy, but I think Nabokov is his equal.

mooderino said...

I recently read Brothers Karamazov which I found a bit dated in its views on faith and the church (priests aren't quite the figures of authority they once were).

I also think quality of translations affect these books quite a lot.

I plan to read The Idiot next.

Beth said...

...interesting. Not my usual read though.

Nick Wilford said...

A heavy duty read, I've heard. I must get round to this, like so many other books I've not read. I don't mind a bit of wordiness as long as the story is under there.

Connie Keller said...

Crime and Punishment has been on my TBR list forever. But it always looks so daunting that it tends to slip down the list.

Rusty Webb said...

The Brothers Karzmakov (I know I spelled that wrong, but I'm too tired to check to see). It was interesting because it's really a 1000 page long debate over the existence of God. However, like any classic work, it is of it's time.

Shelly said...

I've never heard of it. I'm not so sure I'd read it, either. That one paragraph was a brain-twister for me.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

DWei said...

Never read anything by this guy. And honestly, I can't remember anything I read by any Russian, it's been so long.

Paul Tobin said...

I have read this, thought it was very depressing-could have been where I was at the time- Colombo the tv detective is based on the police man.

Jack said...

I've heard a lot of this book but have never read it. I hope you enjoy it!

The Golden Eagle said...

Pat: I can't really say I have a single favorite, either; a lot of different books apply to different situations.

Elaine: I read Anna Karenina in 2012. Have you seen the recent movie adaptation?

Ghadeer: I finished it earlier today and thought it was a really good book. :)

Gabriel: The Brothers Karamazov is on my list of classics to read.

Hmm. Can't say I've read enough of either to really have an opinion on Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky . . . but I agree, Dostoevsky's themes are fascinating.

Jessica: The sentences to get pretty convoluted!

I've never read Jane Eyre.

Nay: I'm glad I read it. I think it's an interesting book--though the points you made are all too true. :P

You're welcome!

Carole: I've never read any works by Nabokov.

Mooderino: I want to read The Brothers Karamazov. Someone I know has highly recommended it to me.

Beth: Nor mine. But I like reading "classic" books here and there. :)

Nick: I agree; as long as there's substance, excessive wording doesn't matter as much.

Connie: It's not as long as some Russian novels, at least; the edition I read was over 500 pages, but it's nowhere near War and Peace or something like that.

Rusty: Sounds like what Mooderino said! I'll have to see if I can read that later this year.

Shelly: One of the more difficult, I suppose. But I like posting long sentences for Teaser Tuesday. :P

DWei: I don't tend to remember the books I read over long periods of time, either. At least not in detail . . .

Paul: Really? That's very interesting!

Jack: Thanks! I did enjoy reading it.

Michael Di Gesu said...

This is an AMAZING classic! I had read this in my first year of college and I have NEVER forgotten it!

Shelley said...

Interesting teaser for this week Golden Eagle! :)

Brinda said...

I'm impressed that you're reading this because I'm not sure I have the patience. The long descriptive sentences are a little exhausting. I'm a former English teacher, so I"m not supposed to say that. Oh, well. :)

Jack said...

Thank you for leaving your thoughts on the title! It helps to get readers ideas on it. Glad you liked it!

cleemckenzie said...

Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov are two I've read of Dostoevsky. Both were so dark, but compelling. It seems Russian stories come that way. Of course, I haven't sampled them all, so I'm extrapolating from a limited database. :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

Michael: I don't think I'll ever forget it, either. The main character stuck with me, I think.

Shelley: Thanks! :)

Brinda: A long, exhausting sentence is a long, exhausting sentence regardless of who's reading. :P

Jack: You're welcome!

Cleemckenzie: I don't have an extensive database, either. But I'm hoping to expand on it!

Lynda R Young said...

This is not a book I've read and likely won't read either. Is punctiliousness really a word? ;)

michelle said...

I haven't read any of the Russian authors. I've heard lots of good things about Anna Karenina...
My TBR pile has grown so high that I'm not sure if I'd have any time or energy to attempt one of these. I'd love to though... maybe one day...

Bonnee Crawford said...

As interesting as your current reader sounds, I hope I never have to study any Russian literature. While it sounds intriguing... the names. My goodness. I can neither pronounce nor remember them. I'd get so lost... Haha thank you for sharing the snippet anyway :)

Jack said...

Aye, I did hear about Sherlock being the Necromancer as well! Whenever he talked in the movie I'd sit forward in my seat to see if I could recognize his voice. Sometimes I can make it out.

Carol Kilgore said...

Yes, and now I remember why I could never get past page one of Crime and Punishment. Good for you for persisting!

M Pax said...

I have read him. I've tried to read all of the classics. Most of them I really enjoyed.

The Golden Eagle said...

Lynda: LOL. Yes, it is! (Perhaps unfortunately . . .)

Michelle: I read Anna Karenina last year. Can't say I really liked it--I'd recommend War and Peace instead, if Tolstoy was the Russian author in question.

Bonnee: You're welcome! And don't get me started on the names. :P Practically all the characters have two or three and all tend to be multi-syllabic.

Jack: Cool! I haven't seen The Hobbit yet, but I have to admit I'm looking forward to that role though I've read it's short.

Carol: Thanks!

Mary: Awesome. I'd like to read more classics in my lifetime; but there are an awful lot of them.

Stephen Tremp said...

I haven't read anything from Dostoevsky. Crime and Punishment appeals to me as I use a similar concpet in my books. Should my MC perform crimes he knows is wrong because in a utilitarianism sense the moral worth of an action that may be illegal or unethical outweighs the consequences. Translation: sometimes good people have to do bad things to bad people to protect the good people.

Jack said...

Aye, that is a hot spring pool in the picture. *Grin*

Bio Toxin said...

It's hard to pick a classic and say it's a favorite. For example just picking my favorite philosophy I can say plato but I can't say if I prefer his discussions of Time, Laws, The Republic, or something else. And in a close 2nd I have Rene Descartes Truth in Sciences, and I forget the author but the story is "why the future doesn't need us" and it's a powerful concept.

Then the question of how old must a story be to be classic comes in to play. I could argue Isaac Asimov and H.G.Wells are classics by now like bicentennial man or invisible man, time machine, etc. 2001 a space odyssey is almost certainly a classic in spite of it's relative youth.

I suppose in the end I'd say my favorite would have to be something that actually changed my life. Which leaves only 2 titles that have helped shape my perspective of the world. Hagakure, and The Art of War. While the first taught me of myself the second taught me of the world and together they've played a significant role in my life.


On a side note my favorite recently released book that I've been reading repeatedly the last few months is the Theoretical limits of ranging algorithms on Ultra Wideband Positioning Systems. Which is basically an advanced look at how internet providers are going to establish a new nation wide wifi using the old TV broadcasting frequencies and what the possible capabilities and limits are of the system. It's so exciting.

Christine Rains said...

I've read parts of some of Dostoevsky's works, but sometimes they're hard to get through.

mshatch said...

A few of my faves: Hard Times by Dickens, Uncle Silas by Le Fanu, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez, and The Deerslayer by Cooper (who also wrote Last of the Mohicans.

I never did manage to finish Anna Karenina :(

Jai Joshi said...

I haven't read any of his works, no. The rambling puts me off, haha! But I figure at some point I'll probably slog through one, to see what all the talk is about.

Jai

The Golden Eagle said...

Stephen: I think it's really cool there are elements of Crime and Punishment in your novel!

Jack: Awesome. :)

Bio Toxin: Interesting thoughts. I put the word "classic" in quotes in my post because there isn't a clear line between classic books and non-classics; there's a lot of room to argue in favor and against all different types of writing.

After seeing quotes from it, I'm really interested in reading The Art of War.

The last book you mention sounds technical, but I love the topic!

Christine: Definitely. :P

Mshatch: I don't blame you. I can't say I was desperate to finish it when I read it last year . . .

Jai: I think it's worth it. I haven't read one of his more famous works, The Brothers Karamazov, but I would recommend Notes from Underground if you wanted a starting point for Dostoevsky. :)

Ciara said...

I haven't read it, but feel that I should.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I'm ashamed to say I've never read this novel.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I love Russian lit - I had a professor who taught half his class on it, and ever since I've liked it. I need to read more, and this looks like a good one to pick up. :) I'm reading Name of the Wind right now, though. Maybe after. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Ciara: It's an interesting book.

Michael: I thought Crime and Punishment was a really good story. If you get the chance, read it. :)

Bethany: Cool!

I started reading The Name of the Wind but never got around to finishing it . . .

Tammy Theriault said...

how i ended up here so late...i don't know. sounds like a great read though!!

....Petty Witter said...

My you are brave to be tackling this, I've tried several times but have always eventually admitted defeat which isn't like me at all.

The Golden Eagle said...

Tammy: No worries--I haven't been posting a whole lot, anyway. :P

I enjoyed it!

Petty Witter: It's definitely a dense book.