Treating Myself for Completing a Difficult 7-Week Cancer Treatment

Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page, which also lets me reference more easily the concept under discussion here.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact place from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» Treating Myself for Completing a Difficult 7-Week Cancer Treatment

We need to reward ourselves for completing these major life challenges. So that's what I did .. for completeing perhaps the hardest thing I've ever done .. by ordering Joseph Frank's bio condensation on Dostoevsky (2009).

Dostoevsky | A Writer in His Time (2009) by Joseph FrankI've been wanting that bio for years now.

Joseph Frank (1918-2013, same years as Mandela, btw, with dual professorships at both Princeton and Stanford) ..

.. spent 30 years researching Dostoevsky the writer ..

.. from the early 1970's to the early 2000's). Researching a fascinating character, if you ask me.

Frank even learned the Russian language so he could gaze more deeply into Dostoevsky's world and his art. (That's dedication.)

Joseph Frank never intended to be Dostoevsky's biographer. No, sir. Rather he was simply (like me) reading a copy of Notes from Underground ..

.. when he noticed something about the novel. About the writing. About its subject.

"This Dostoevsky guy .. his writing .. there's something about it .. I cant quite put my finger on it, tho. Maybe I should look a little closer. Oh, lookie there .. aint that some shit. Wow. He's even more interesting than I thought."

That is exactly what happened to me. So, in that sense, I feel a certain kinship with Mr Frank, or at least, with his experience of reading Dostoevsky.

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Editor Mary Petrusewicz distilled (condensed?) his 'monumental' 5-volume (2,500-page) biography into a single volume. The juciest of the juice. The essence .. sort of like » an espresso, which is the 'pressing out' of the coffee's essence.

Better Than Expected » The Ultimate Literary Bio (2010)

I've just receive my copy and it is so good. Wow. Ever better than I imagined. (And I imagined that it would indeed be super excellent.)

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) on the cover of Joseph Franks biography volume #3 of 5 The Stir of LiberationJoseph Frank has a handle on Dostoevsky. He shines such a bright light on the nineteenth century Russian (1821-1881). Very illuminating.

The cover (of the cheapo $18 paperback version because the hardback was so expensive - $33) feels like felt.

I am very tactile, so I certainly appreciate the attention to detail.

It gives me a nice feeling when I hold it in my hands. (Similar to how a Moleskine feels.) And all this with a cover with a » black background.

» The Only One

After an enlightening 5-page preface (written in 2010), Joseph Frank begins. Let me quote for you the very first sentence ..

.. to give you a flavor, perhaps, of what fascinating insights await the reader. See here (see if joseph frank's lightbulb goes on for you) »

» Of all the great Russian writers of the first part of the nineteenth century -- Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Herzen, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Nekrasov -- Dostoevsky was the only one who did not come from a family belonging to the landed gentry.

As the weeks pass, I will share some of the more remarkable insights that I gleaned from this book, from this bio, from this outstanding biography.

I mean, I put it up there with Walter's bio of Einstein .. and even the one on Oppenheimer, another book that was » 25 years in the making .. both of which will easily endure for a century.

[ I have not read it, but Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) is said to be the best biography in the English language. ]

Normally a person doesnt spend 25 or 30 years researching a single person, or a single topic .. unless that person is one fascinating character (or subject).

Quality has staying power. You know. The relevance that spans the centuries.

I mention a few other things that Joseph Frank wrote » here.

The end. ■

You can return to the exact spot from where this entry originated .. see » here.

Radified home

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 7, 2015 3:07 AM.

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