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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life--Which book was so far over your head you almost didn’t come up? (254 comments)

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  •  am reading it now: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Oh Mary Oh, RiveroftheWest

    the title is "Petersburg", the writer is Andrei Bely;

    i'm "reading" it differently from any other novel in my experience, because it's style is "symbolist", which hadn't attracted me before this

    i picked it up because of interest in the conditions leading to the soviet revolution beginning in 1905, the premise of the book

    had to learn how to read it, without "knowing" what's happening, without being able to identify its logic

    as if i were at the event being described, an onlooker, in various situations, and the buildings, the avenues, the river and its bridges, the statues, the clothing worn, the peoples' relations, all combine to include the bedazzled reader in the atmosphere

    getting these impressions of a place and culture from a text that seems illogical, i'm realizing, is very like living in a "foreign" environment, so it's a trip, indeed

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