Who is the best Russian writer of all time? - Xtratime Community
View Poll Results: The greatest Russian writer ever?
Fyodor Dostojevsky 13 54.17%
Leo Tolstoy 2 8.33%
Anton Checkhov 2 8.33%
Nikolai Gogol 3 12.50%
Ivan Turgenev 0 0%
Alexander Pushkin 1 4.17%
Anna Akhmatova 0 0%
Andrei Platonov 0 0%
Maxim Gorky 0 0%
Boris Pasternak 0 0%
Mikhail Bulgakov 0 0%
Alexander Solzhenitsyn 2 8.33%
Vladimir Nabokov 1 4.17%
Mikhail Sholokhov 0 0%
Ivan Bunin 0 0%
Alexander Blok 0 0%
Vassily Grossman 0 0%
Strugatsky brothers 0 0%
Viktor Pelevin 0 0%
Vladimir Sorokin 0 0%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old January 16th, 2011, 21:32 Thread Starter
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Who is the best Russian writer of all time?

I'll go with Solzenitsyn...it is hard to imagine any greater literary heroism than what he performed during the Soviet era. Amazing man and an amazing writer too. It's not only the anti-Soviet stuff, August 1914 is a great book too (in fact probably the best war book I've ever read)

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old January 16th, 2011, 23:27
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I haven't read many of those writers. Pushkin, for example, only a few poems and he's so highly regarded by those in the know.

So it's between the top two and here I prefer Dostoyevsky (or the translations of him).

I like Nabokov and Gogol very much but they don't really fit a Greatest Ever list.

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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old January 16th, 2011, 23:32
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You forgot another Dissident Laureate, Joseph Brodsky.

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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old January 16th, 2011, 23:32
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Nabokov shouldn't be there. Great writer, though.

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wrong. you dont know anything

you are like cloud which do lot of thundering but got no rain.

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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 01:41 Thread Starter
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Nabokov shouldn't be there. Great writer, though.
why not?

there was this discussion in the American writers thread and
the conclusion was he's more of a Russian writer than American one. Gotta have him somewhere.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 01:59
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No, it wasnt conclusion, it was JCamilo's opinion
@ Moreirnho,why not Gogol? He is one of the most important writers in the list. There is a famous Dostoevsky saying ""We all come out from Gogol's "Overcoat", regarding his influence on Russian literature.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 11:03
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Sure, he's influenced later writers and I like his stories, but they don't seem to have the same epic scope as Tolstoy and Dostoy's (few do).

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 14:04
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Andy is trying to make the bookshop a WWF

Nabokov accidentally lived in America and wrote with american settings. His work is however, often dealing with the russian influence, included his rabid anti-Dostoieviskism. He is certainly not american, but if we keep discussing, the french will certainly want him to play for their NT.

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 14:07
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Sure, he's influenced later writers and I like his stories, but they don't seem to have the same epic scope as Tolstoy and Dostoy's (few do).
Dostoyievisky does not really have an epic scope. Pushkin does. But Gogol is different, he is a more burgoise like writer, much irony. Gogol is a short story writer, try to pull him in the french world a bit more, while Tolstoy and Dostoievisky are strongly "russians".

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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 14:08
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Quote:
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Andy is trying to make the bookshop a WWF

Nabokov accidentally lived in America and wrote with american settings. His work is however, often dealing with the russian influence, included his rabid anti-Dostoieviskism. He is certainly not american, but if we keep discussing, the french will certainly want him to play for their NT.
Well, it's kind of the same as with Joseph Conrad whether to consider him a Polish or Anglosaxon writer.

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it's a guy who solves rubik's cubes while juggling...it's a traditional pastime in India.
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wrong. you dont know anything

you are like cloud which do lot of thundering but got no rain.

Understand, you better understand

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Move over Aristotle, Piyali's arrived



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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2011, 14:16
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Kind off, with the slighty difference that Conrad didnt wrote in polish that I know, while Nabokov was writting in russian for about 2 decades before going to america. It is like Henry James or T.S.Eliot, Thomas Mann, etc.

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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 01:36 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Andy is trying to make the bookshop a WWF


somebody has to keep this place alive...I might do the best British, French and German writers threads too. Northern European writers one would be interesting too but probably not many people here would know these names.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 02:53
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plus, Northern European get complicated...

Anyways, Are you telling me that people have read enough of Russian authors besides the young angst teen Dostoevisky fan?

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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 08:18
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On the topic of Scandinavian authors I don't think I ever read a book by a Finnish fiction writer.

This dame should be pretty good, tho she looks a bit like I always imagined MarieL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofi_Oksanen


Not bigotting

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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 17:03 Thread Starter
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On the topic of Scandinavian authors I don't think I ever read a book by a Finnish fiction writer.

This dame should be pretty good, tho she looks a bit like I always imagined MarieL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sofi_Oksanen

Oksanen is garbage

I suggest you read Volter Kilpi the Finnish James Joyce

or Antti Hyry who has written a 400-page award-winning novel about the building of a bread oven.

or if you want stuff which is more easily accessible then Všino Linna's War Novel (this should be widely available in English translation)

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 17:12 Thread Starter
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Anyways, Are you telling me that people have read enough of Russian authors besides the young angst teen Dostoevisky fan? (Since you forgt Nieztche)...
I could imagine quite a lot of people have read Bulgakov (well, this one globally famous novel of his at least) or struggled with War and Peace. Dunno how popular Pelevin is but his books are all translated and widely available...I would certainly recommend him from the younger generation of writers. And also Strugatsky bros for sci-fi lovers.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old January 18th, 2011, 23:35
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As someone who has read them all bar Vladimir Sorokin (who is that?) in original language, Russian, I first want to point out that putting Chekhov and Pushkin in the same poll is as ridiculous as comparing Mark Twain to William Shakespeare. Who is a better writer?

For most Russians, the most talented person ever involved in any form of literature is Pushkin. That fact, I think, is undebatable. But I am personally not a big fan of him nor of any kind of poetry.

Regarding the poll, I have to say for me it's Chekhov. He's wryly humorous and intelligently sarcastic. His economical use of language and precise style of writing creating masterpiece plots within short stories make him one of the most unique writers ever. And if you judge Chekhov by his plays, then you are not even familiar with the genius of Chekhov - the plays are his weakest point because, as I said, his remarkably distinctive talent is in keeping it short but extremely entertaining.

Number two and three are Bulgakov and Tolstoy respectively.

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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old January 19th, 2011, 14:49 Thread Starter
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As someone who has read them all bar Vladimir Sorokin (who is that?) in original language, Russian, I first want to point out that putting Chekhov and Pushkin in the same poll is as ridiculous as comparing Mark Twain to William Shakespeare. Who is a better writer?
I could've made it novellists only but lots of these names in the poll wrote novels, short stories, autobiographical stuff , plays and poetry at the same time. I think for Russian writers putting them all in one poll was the only way...there's an interesting continuity and integrity too in Russian literature and the distinctions between prose, poetry and plays as separate genres are less important than in many other countries. For example Pushkin has undeniably influenced most of the later famous Russian writers no matter if they wrote novels or poems (or usually both). Which is something you can't claim with a straight face about Shakespeare or Milton in British literature.

Big games are easy than the other games, unfortunately. Every times we have the control the games, under the control the games, during the games we had the some possibilities, some big chances, some big okazyons, something like that but what can I do, sometimes? AndÖ.itís the football, thatís the football, something happened. Everything is something happened. - Fatih Terim
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old January 20th, 2011, 02:18
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You can claim with Shakespeare the genre mix influence (Drama is easy, but poetry he goes to Milton, Pope, Byron, Keats... Novels he goes to Austen, Joyce... Short stories he hit Austen, Poe, Henry James...). Maybe an argument can be traced to Milton too.

Anyways, there is 5 big in russia who is just hard to rank... Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoievisky, Tolstoy, Chekhov. But the last 3 are something special. E.M.Foster in the end of the 20's claimed english language had not produced anything as meaningful (novel-wise) as Brothers K, Crime and Punishement, Anna Karenina and War and Peace. He was, like many ignoring Moby Dick, not counting Joyce, but if we look well... It is almost only like adding Flaubert there. And Chekhov is like the guy who solves the two giants problem, he has all they have of good at once. And went to a different path, almost to not have to deal with their size. The 3 made the russian literature a world wide power.

As the previous question, I doubt much. I have been in forums and Dostoievisky is quite pop. But even Tolstoy or Chekhov secundary. Master and Marguerita only mentioned by die-hard readers (not evan that well translated he is, but it is bound to change this year he is public domain) and the other guys? Not even in science fiction sites they were mentioned.

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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old January 20th, 2011, 05:10
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Master and Margarita was banned by the Bolsheviks in the Soviet time, that might be part of the reason it is not as popular. But the main reason must be its difficulty. The story, or perhaps the stories, is pretty hard to comprehend.
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