Friday, April 07, 2006
It has struck again. That 'let down' feeling has invaded me and it's all because of Dead Souls. Yes, I blame you Mr. Gogol. You started out great, leading me on, making me laugh, something I thought no Russian writer could do. You made me fall for you and your tale of Chichikov wandering Russia like a ronin. Then somewhere around page 200, Bam! A brick wall was erected in front of me, obstructing my vision. In place of a likeable confidence man buying up dead souls for some unknown reason, you installed a common Russian novel that lacked Tolstoy's humanity and Dostoevsky's ability. Your deft abilities to characterize all facets of people and your uncanny eye for landscape has evaporated, leaving me, well, leaving me wanting. Instead of reading you on the train, during lunch and at night, I've abandoned you, but I don't blame myself. I didn't want to turn to Tobias Wolff. I didn't want to leave you behind on my table. I had no choice. I will return to you this weekend and try to finish you off. I'm too far involved to leave you for dead. No, I will power on, I will "tear down this wall." If not today, then tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then...oh hell.