Monday, 1 July 2013

The Complete Works of Isaac Babel

When I bought my copy of The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde I made the mistake of reading all the plays in one swift move (I’d already read his novel and letters). It seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight it made me confuse the characters and plots.

Now that I finally have my copy of The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, I intend to be a bit smarter with my reading. What I’m looking at is 1025 pages of short stories, diary entries, articles, plays, manuscript and screenplays – in other words, quite a lot of material. And considering that I am not the biggest fan of short stories, and don’t even know if I like Babel, I shall have to pace myself and take things slow.
So, following the procedure of when I read War& Peace, I’ll write reviews at regular intervals in order to make sure that I keep proper track of all the stories. The book is divided into 14 different parts:

Early Stories
The Odessa Stories  
The Red Cavalry Stories
The Red Cavalry Cycle: Additional Stories
The Red Cavalryman: Articles
1920 Diary
Sketches for the Red Cavalry Stories
Reports from Petersburg, 1918
Reports from Georgia, 1922 – 1924
Reports from France, 1935
Stories, 1925 – 1938
Variations and Manuscripts

I’ll probably read the works in this order, but may pop into the plays and screenplays in advance (depending on what mood I’m in). So yeah, I guess there’ll be a sprinkling of Babel across the blog the next few weeks.

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