After the chaotic beginning to 2024, this past week felt like the real start to the new year.
I finally, after 57 days, finished Dostoevsky’s Demons. It was a bit of a slog for the first half but I powered through. For reference, I read The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment each in less than 30 days, and they are both longer than Demons. I think Dostoevsky’s craft was more polished with the latter two, and the stories more focused.
Also, Demons leaned more into the lives of the Russian gentry and social climbers, whose lives revolve around giving the best impressions at social gatherings. In other words, wankers. And wankers, in any culture, in any time period, don’t always make for the most entertaining subjects.
With Demons complete I am looking for a “cool down” novel. Something more current, faster paced, and, well shorter. At the moment I am reading one of my old issues of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, published by Small Beer Press. It’s good to read something which can be completed in a couple of hours, rather than a couple of months.
Not a lot, though I am in the process of indexing (and re-indexing) my unpublished short stories, so I can set up a schedule of editing to try to knock some of them in shape for submission by the end of the year. To that end, I have signed up for the Critique Circle, on the advice of my friend the author Jean Davis.
Subject: Revenge, Reincarnation