Reading Notes | 2022・8: Dostoevsky, He Zhaowu, etc.


Starting this month, I have been reading a lot of Dostoevsky, especially "Notes from Underground," which is particularly stunning. This book speaks out many things that are not dared to be said, perhaps everyone's inner thoughts are more or less similar (dark), just like the dark side of the underground. Dostoevsky wrote it out, presenting it in an exaggerated form before everyone, saying that a bloody analysis is not an exaggeration.

Future writers like Zweig must have been deeply influenced because similar psychological analyses frequently appear in Zweig's works. Therefore, Zweig's "The Three Masters" can be so profound because they are almost the same kind of people.

  • "Poor People": Finished reading. Dostoevsky's debut and masterpiece. The portrayal of poor people in it is undoubtedly successful, but the writing is too verbose and not enjoyable.
  • "The Three Masters": Finished reading. Zweig's subjective biography, the three being Balzac, Dickens, and Dostoevsky, with the most emphasis on the latter, showing his preference. Considering this book as a commentary on the three masters is more appropriate.
  • "Notes from Underground": Finished reading. A watershed work in Dostoevsky's novels, the portrayal of the underground man is truly classic. Everyone has a dark side in their hearts, and this underground man is the synthesis of all.
  • "A Record of School Days": Finished reading. He Zhaowu's oral memoir, sincere, candid, worth reading, especially the parts about Southwest Associated University are brilliant.
  • "Zhu Rongji Answers Journalists' Questions": Finished reading. Facing and solving problems directly, while still maintaining humor.
  • "Miscellaneous Records from Prison": Finished reading. Real prison life, vivid characters and stories. There is an interesting contrast between two characters, Xu Zhangben and Qian Xuesen, and Wu Ningkun and Li Zhengdao from "A Drop of Tear."
  • "County and Township China": Currently reading. Topped the Wansheng Book Garden's July list, I'm interested after looking at the table of contents. It is said to be a must-read for grassroots civil servants, so I'll check it out.
  • "The Metaphors We Rely on for Survival": Currently reading. I've read it repeatedly, but it keeps getting interrupted by other interesting books. I still haven't finished it this time, but each reading brings new insights.
  • "The Brothers Karamazov": Currently reading. About to finish, the latter part of the plot has been spoiled for me, but I still want to finish it. Excellent works are like this, even if spoiled, it doesn't affect the reading, just like "Suits."
  • "Touching the Soul of the Touch Era: He Zhaowu Talks about Reading": Currently reading. A selection of He Zhaowu's articles, many of which I have already read in "A Record of School Days." This series of booklets basically collects He Zhaowu's articles according to the themes set by the editor, lacking a cohesive structure and sincerity.
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