Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Open Letter to Russian Literature

Dear Russian Literature,

This must be weird for you. I know that you typically don't get a lot of fan mail. It's very rare that I come across someone that actually enjoys your company, which is why I was a little surprised to see the above flier at school. Better than sex? I'm not sure about that, but I have a very weird confession for you that I just have to get out there: I think you're fun. I like you.

I hope that it doesn't embarrass you for me to splash my newly embraced love affair with you all across the internet. I hope this isn't too soon to admit this either, for I'm not very familiar with your type. You're the mysterious type, the one that's incredibly intimidating but still alluring. Because of this, you tend to put a lot of people off. Everyone always talks about how 'dense' you are, and how hard you are to follow, but there are a few reasons why I really enjoy you. I know a list isn't very formal, but it's the only way I can use to put my feelings down.

1. You contain exclamation points!!!!! This is typically a huge no-no in contemporary literature! In my writing classes, it is frowned upon to use anything other than periods or question marks to end a sentence! I'm not sure why! All of these exclamation points add a certain excitement to the narration! A certain zest to actions and sometimes expository details!

2. You make me feel smarter. After tackling only a third of Crime and Punishment, I felt like I could write eighty pages on chemical reactions (is that a thing? I actually know nothing about it. See what you do to me?). Even though reading through your pages takes a little bit more time than reading anything else, it comes with a HUGE pay off. I feel so triumphant! I know you don't hear that often, but it's just fun to navigate your wordy pages.

3. It's fun to imagine your authors as very old men with very gray, pointed beards. Maybe this isn't a real reason to love you, but it makes the exclamation points even more entertaining :)

4. You can be quite melodramatic. Yes! There's drama! But sometimes it's a little over the top. This could also be because of the exclamation points. Right now, in Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a doctor of sorts is trying to figure out to keep her lead nurse Olympiada from going to a seminar for ten days. This conflict seems pretty small, but it's been going on for several pages now. There are also several paragraphs dedicated to a shortage of cleaning rags. But I love it! It's possible you didn't mean for it to be silly, but it makes for an entertaining read. It's okay, Russian Lit, I'm pretty melodramatic, too.

This may not seem like a lot of reasons, but four reasons are better than zero. And I'm sure a majority of people have zero reasons to love you, so be grateful, okay? Plus, there are several other, smaller reasons to love you, such as your word choices, and the history behind writing you. People are actually EXILED in you. It may be just me, but I feel like being exiled is something reserved only for movies, and I only imagine people sitting in deserts.

I better wrap this up. You're probably tired of reading me prattle on, and I'm getting rather tired. Keep being you, Russian Lit.


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