Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Dry Season for Sports and Russian Novels

Betty here. It's cold and she misses sports. The only news we are getting about sports these days involve Roger Clemens' butt and a syringe. Basketball is no football, which is no baseball. Come swift, spring.

To beat the no-sports blues, Betty wants to read. She wants to read a Russian novel, in particular. Dead Souls, The Brothers Karamazov, whatever. One problem: Betty can't follow Russian novels because often the characters' names all look the same and Betty isn't sophisticated enough to say the names out loud for clarity or to keep them straight in general. Any tips for coping with this problem? If you have advice, please send it soon --- the snow only sticks around for so long. Right now the reading weather is perfect.


Nodine said...

Betty, that post cracked me up! I feel exactly the same way, and you made me feel better because I thought it was because my reading skills were sub-par. I read Anna Karenina starting in December 2005....and finished it in February 2007. No joke. I really liked it but I just couldn't get through more than a chapter a night. And the chapters are like three pages long. (I read other books in the meantime.) Those names just wore my brain out and I could never keep straight who was who, and I had to keep looking back at the index of characters at the beginning of the book.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

And don't forget the fact that each character has at least three names and can be referred to by any combination of those names or nicknames. And that half the time the Russians are supposed to be speaking French so as not to be understood by the help.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Exactly! I feel like making the names easier on unsophisticated American eyes should be a part of the translation process.