How to Read Dostoevsky

This term, my TA assignment involves between 125 - 350 pages of reading a week, a combination of secondary stuff (i.e. history books) and primary material: essays written in 19th century Russia and novels by Turgenev and Dostoevsky. Regarding the latter, we're dealing with D's Demons, which is almost 700 pages long. The students (and I) are supposed to read it on top of, besides, and diagonally from all of the other reading, bringing the total page count per week to something like a 290 average.

Now, I can handle this. The kids, not so much.

My point isn't to complain, however, but to share my breakthrough technique. As I mentioned a while ago, I've been playing an exciting new video game, Heroes of Might and Magic 5. It's a turn-based strategy game, meaning you do something then the computer bad guy does something. The latter takes a while, so what I do is play, finish my turn, and read Dostoevsky while the computer does its turn. Using this technique, I have finished about 340 pages so far.

Never have I been so happy to have not studied literature.

Next up: figuring out a way to combine Yoshi's Island with my dissertation.


Chrissy said...

Holy CRAP thats a lot of readin. I am so glad Im not in ANY of your classes. :)

Dolce Vita said...

Wow. This is a total breakthrough for me. I've been doing something similar. I'm writing my dissertation with Gilmore Girls (probably not your cup o' tea). Anyway, I each lunch with the girls, I laugh, I completely get away and return refreshed to my computer. The only drawback is that now I'm struggling over whether or not to thank the writers in my acknowledgments.