Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lesson 5. Size matters.

Today's lesson is brought to us by Shakespeare.

Brevity [often] is the sole of wit.

So I have been trying, and not for the first time, to read Dostoevsky.

And once again I am finding myself having my Dickens-complex.

Or at least, symptoms of my Dickens-complex (See note).

I simply cannot get through it.

I've tried The Brothers Karamazov. Notes from the Underground. Selected short stories.

And I get bogged down.

I mean, Fyoder - what were you thinking? A 67 page short story? That's a short novella.

I can do long. Elliot's Middlemarch? Loved it. Lord of the Rings? Once I skipped the Tom Bombadil section.

It's just something about Dostoevsky. Maybe it's the long names. I dunno.


Allow me to define the dreaded D-C (or c-d-c, if you want to be formal with old Chuck).

I know that I like Charles Dickens.

I will watch any Dickens based film any time of the year. They make me think of Christmas

Frankly, I like Dickensian times. Not the epidemics, labor conditions, or rigid social castes. But the outfits, party games, parlors, and country dances.

But when I sit with my annual Dickens attempt, I often find myself finding other things to do or getting stuck after page 30. Why 30? I don't know.

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