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
Plays
Screenplays

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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