I’m really Russian through this book

So I wrote last week about how I’ve jumped back on the Russian literature train (the darkest, gloomiest, most morbidly hilarious train there is) and I cannot believe how much I have missed the ride.

(Alas, Wolf Hall has been relegated to the far corner of my bedside table, YET AGAIN. One day Ms. Mantell! One day I will finish your oeuvre.)

But back to the goods.

The Brothers Karamazov is a bloody long novel – my translation is 985 pages long (I’m a sucker for Penguin Classics and will go to my death promoting their superior products), but reading it doesn’t feel like a slog.

It feels like I am blazing through the work – paragraphs and pages flying by in the blink of an eye.

I need to emphasize that this isn’t a bad thing.

In fact, when I say that reading this work reminds me of travelling by train, that wasn’t just my attempt at a heavy handed simile.

As I sit and read, I watch as fantastical landscapes whiz past – bright colours, flashes of light, villages, country sides, peasants, gentry – all stream together, and I have make sure that I don’t get dizzy and lose my place.

Because the book is delirious; it makes me feel delirious.

It’s maddening.

And passionate, and hilarious, and brilliant.

Also, another thing that I seem to have forgotten is just how much Russian people (in particular, Russian men) love, LOVE to soliloquise.

(That is, of course, if I’m to take Dostoevsky’s prose as a truthful representation of 19th century Russian conversations.)

Because goodness gracious do his characters ever enjoy a monologue and a half.

And if they’re not monologuing, they’re falling prey to crazed, impassioned fits.

Sometimes they’re doing both at the same time.

Not that I have any right to call out anyone for their liberal use of hysterics when waxing eloquent on a matter at hand (pot being black et. al.)

HOWEVER, it never fails to leave me breathless and a little exasperated every time Dmitry starts beating his chest, or when old papa Fyodor starts acting like a classless arsehole (or buffoon by his definition.)

But mostly I am just bowled over by the writing. The attention to detail, the tangents, the word play, the physical descriptions of characters, ranging from the lowliest urchin to the highest ranking official – they all enthrall me.

They ravage, they provoke, they inspire.

I’m about a fourth of the way through, and I find myself fidgeting throughout the day, wishing that I could crack open this tome and once again lose myself in the provincial world of Alyosha and his brothers. To relish in their dialogues, their anguishes, their fears.

It also makes me reminisce about my trip to the motherland.

Two weeks gallivanting about St. Petersburg, presenting my writing around town, exploring museums and art galleries, dancing until the wee hours of the morning, eating dinner at midnight, and drinking coffee so strong it would tickle your fingertips.

What about you friends? What are you reading these days? I want to know.

Spokoynoy nochimalyshi!

Call me home and I will build you a throne

Hi kidlets.

Today my love and I are up on the Sunshine Coast, drinking dark, sugary coffee, sitting in front of the fire.

The bay sits cool, and calm, just outside our window; every so often a duck armada will sail past, marking a course for the next dock or rush.

They call out to one another, “Over here!”

Oh boy, do I really love ducks.

M and I are up here for an extra long weekend, relishing the opportunity to just sit back and breathe, and actually spend some time together.

We’ve both been running about with our hair set on fire, and looking forward, well, the next few months aren’t exactly going to be relaxation central.

So we’re going to revel in this beauty and eat, drink, run, read, laugh, and love.

In the meantime, Fry-up time!

This doesn’t actual seem “cosmopolitan”.

While standing in line at Safeway the other night, waiting to pay for my raspberries, eggs, mint chocolate ice cream bars, granny smith apples, and unsalted butter (aka THE STAPLES), I came across this:

Oh Cosmo.

Champion that it is of the high-brow (not to mention safe haven for intellectually rigorous prose), it never, ever fails to surprise me with the depths of depravity (and inanity) in which it is willing to sink.

And don’t even get me started on the people who buy this shite, because if I do I will spend the next half hour alternating between banging my head against the wall and falling to my knees shouting WHHHHHYYYYY?

Instead, let’s have some fun shall we?

For instance, what are some alternate answers to the question:

“So you ate a cupcake?”

Are you allergic to cupcakes?! If yes, you should probably go to the hospital!

Was it chocolate or vanilla? WAS IT MARBLED? Never trust a marbled cupcake.

Did it fall on the floor first? Remember the five second rule. Longer than five seconds and I’ll have to eat it.

How do you feel about being a cupcake murderer?

Is it weird that one of the first things that pops into my head when I hear cupcake is Katy Perry’s boobs?

I hate Katy Perry.

Cupcake in French is petit gâteaux, which in terms of a french word is lame as heck.

Would you like another one before we start the self-flagellation? Self-flagellation starts in five.

And finally: Who bloody very well cares? YEESH.



But seriously, don’t beat yourself up over one stupid pastry.

It totally defeats the purpose, because after all, cupcakes are made from happiness.

They should make you happy.

p.s. My tips for hot late night sex? Sleep all day first.

Stripes and waves.

I bought a few pretty pretties this week:

The skirt is from H&M and the sweater is from Joe Fresh.

I am massively in love with the skirt because it looks like it is made up of little white-capped waves. I wore it to work yesterday with a black turtle next, grey tights and little black boots.

Basically, I was a superhero.

Also, I probably should have just bought one of these sweaters in each available colour because goodness knows I had a hard time deciding which one to purchase.

Stripes are always the best.

What can I saw, I love me some old-timey jail bird chic.

East meets west.

Seeing as though we’re away for a couple of days I thought it best to bring a back-up book just in case I finish the one I am currently working on.

I started Wolf Hall a lifetime ago, and although I really liked  it, somehow it fell by the wayside and I didn’t make it past the half-way point.

Now I’m back, knee deep in Tudor gossip and intrigue.

If I do in fact finish this tome, I have brought some Dostoevsky to satisfy my literary urges.

I had my first real Russian love affair with Mr. Fyodor when I was in first-year of uni. Somehow I’ve managed to read most of his bibliography, save for this work, so I look forward to finally cracking it open.

There is something about his mastery of the macabre that just delights me to no end.

This could of course say more about my deranged psyche than his fantastical wordplay, but I’m one to stay positive.

(Unlike, of course, Mr. D.)

So there you have it folks.

I wish you a weekend filled with good books, delicious food, crackling fires, wind-swept walks, and all the laughs your abdominal muscles can take.

And have a cupcake or two – on me.