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The Possessed

Author : Elif Batuman
ISBN : 9781847083791
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 30. 25 MB
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The true story of one woman’s intellectual and sentimental education and her strange encounters with others devoted – absurdly! melancholically! ecstatically! – to the Russian classics. Opening with a description of a conference about Isaac Babel in California at which various destinies intersect, Elif Batuman follows the footsteps of her favourite authors both literally and metaphorically, searching for the answers to the big questions. She investigates a possible murder at Tolstoy’s ancestral estate, travels to Samarkand and St Petersburg; retraces Pushkin’s wanderings in the Caucasus; learns why Old Uzbek has one hundred different words for crying; and sees an eighteenth-century ice palace reconstructed on the Neva. Combining fresh readings of the great Russians from Gogol to Goncharov with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence, The Possessed introduces a brilliant and distinctive new voice: comic, humane, charming, poignant and completely, and unpretentiously, full of an infectious love for literature.

The Possessed

Author : Elif Batuman
ISBN : 142993641X
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 66. 56 MB
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One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year THE TRUE BUT UNLIKELY STORIES OF LIVES DEVOTED—ABSURDLY! MELANCHOLICALLY! BEAUTIFULLY!—TO THE RUSSIAN CLASSICS No one who read Elif Batuman's first article (in the journal n+1) will ever forget it. "Babel in California" told the true story of various human destinies intersecting at Stanford University during a conference about the enigmatic writer Isaac Babel. Over the course of several pages, Batuman managed to misplace Babel's last living relatives at the San Francisco airport, uncover Babel's secret influence on the making of King Kong, and introduce her readers to a new voice that was unpredictable, comic, humane, ironic, charming, poignant, and completely, unpretentiously full of love for literature. Batuman's subsequent pieces—for The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and the London Review of Books— have made her one of the most sought-after and admired writers of her generation, and its best traveling companion. In The Possessed we watch her investigate a possible murder at Tolstoy's ancestral estate. We go with her to Stanford, Switzerland, and St. Petersburg; retrace Pushkin's wanderings in the Caucasus; learn why Old Uzbek has one hundred different words for crying; and see an eighteenth-century ice palace reconstructed on the Neva. Love and the novel, the individual in history, the existential plight of the graduate student: all find their place in The Possessed. Literally and metaphorically following the footsteps of her favorite authors, Batuman searches for the answers to the big questions in the details of lived experience, combining fresh readings of the great Russians, from Pushkin to Platonov, with the sad and funny stories of the lives they continue to influence—including her own.

The Possessed

Author : Elif Batuman
ISBN : 9781847083135
Genre : Russian literature
File Size : 26. 35 MB
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Elif Batuman takes the reader on a journey both literary and physical as she traces the evolution of her fascination with Russian literature across the globe and several centuries. This is a deeply funny, fiercely intelligent portrait of the not-always-rational pursuit of knowledge.Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2011.

The Idiot

Author : Elif Batuman
ISBN : 9781101622513
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 59. 87 MB
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A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself. The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings. At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer. With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty--and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.

When In French

Author : Lauren Collins
ISBN : 9780698191075
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 37. 52 MB
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A language barrier is no match for love. Lauren Collins discovered this firsthand when, in her early thirties, she moved to London and fell for a Frenchman named Olivier—a surprising turn of events for someone who didn’t have a passport until she was in college. But what does it mean to love someone in a second language? Collins wonders, as her relationship with Olivier continues to grow entirely in English. Are there things she doesn’t understand about Olivier, having never spoken to him in his native tongue? Does “I love you” even mean the same thing as “je t’aime”? When the couple, newly married, relocates to Francophone Geneva, Collins—fearful of one day becoming "a Borat of a mother" who doesn’t understand her own kids—decides to answer her questions for herself by learning French. When in French is a laugh-out-loud funny and surprising memoir about the lengths we go to for love, as well as an exploration across culture and history into how we learn languages—and what they say about who we are. Collins grapples with the complexities of the French language, enduring excruciating role-playing games with her classmates at a Swiss language school and accidently telling her mother-in-law that she’s given birth to a coffee machine. In learning French, Collins must wrestle with the very nature of French identity and society—which, it turns out, is a far cry from life back home in North Carolina. Plumbing the mysterious depths of humanity’s many forms of language, Collins describes with great style and wicked humor the frustrations, embarrassments, surprises, and, finally, joys of learning—and living in—French. From the Hardcover edition.

Mikhail And Margarita

Author : Julie Lekstrom Himes
ISBN : 9781609453749
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 68. 62 MB
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A love triangle involving Mikhail Bulgakov, famed author of The Master and Margarita, an agent of Stalin's secret police, and the bewitching Margarita has inescapable consequences for all three in 1930s Russia. It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov's enviable career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously outspoken Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a satirical novel that is scathingly critical of power and the powerful. Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow's literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country with a towering literary tradition confronting a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic woman, who is fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will fail in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice. Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic deception and she movingly portrays the ineluctable consequences of love for one of history's most enigmatic literary figures.

Suicide As A Cultural Institution In Dostoevsky S Russia

Author : Irina Paperno
ISBN : 0801484251
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 48. 15 MB
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In the popular and scientific imagination, suicide has always been an enigmatic act that defies, and yet demands, explanation. Throughout the centuries, philosophers and writers, journalists and scientists have attempted to endow this act with meaning. In the nineteenth century, and especially in Russia, suicide became the focus for discussion of such issues as the immortality of the soul, free will and determinism, the physical and the spiritual, the individual and the social. Analyzing a variety of sources--medical reports, social treatises, legal codes, newspaper articles, fiction, private documents left by suicides--Irina Paperno describes the search for the meaning of suicide. Paperno focuses on Russia of the 1860s-1880s, when suicide was at the center of public attention.

If There Is Something To Desire

Author : Vera Pavlova
ISBN : 9780375711893
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 47. 95 MB
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A volume of works by the award-winning Russian poet explores a theme of love as experienced as a family member, romantic partner and within the boundaries of physical intimacy, in a translation that is comprised of brief pieces that use immediacy-connoting language.

The Windmill And The Giant

Author : Elif Batuman
ISBN : STANFORD:36105129645292
Genre :
File Size : 60. 57 MB
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In Chapter 1, I discuss the rise of graphomania as a product of double-entry bookkeeping, mandatory written spiritual confession, and the mass-production of paper.

Pandora S Curse

Author : Jack Du Brul
ISBN : 1101100168
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 71 MB
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During World War II, in a secret Nazi submarine base, containers crafted entirely from looted wartime gold were hidden away. The treasure was not the solid gold chests, but the cargo they carried—an artifact so lethal that whoever possessed “Pandora’s boxes” held the power to unleash hell upon the Earth… In the unforgiving wastes of Greenland, geologist Philip Mercer uncovers a long-abandoned U.S. Army base buried under the ice—and a long-dead body still hot with radiation. But before Mercer and his colleague, the seductive Dr. Anika Klein, can investigate further, a flash fire engulfs the base. Ordered to evacuate, their plane is forced to land when a bomb is discovered on board, and they must seek shelter from the murderous weather in a hidden ice cavern. That’s where they learn the startling truth. A powerful German corporation has launched an operation to destroy evidence of its Nazi past. But one of the corporate mercenaries knows what’s inside the Pandora’s boxes, and he plans to hold the entire world hostage—unless Mercer can find a way to stop him…

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