Friday, February 24, 2012

Dreams and Angsts

Picture: Umberto Eco as seen by John Macdougall's camera in Chigaco Tribune on 14.11.2011
"Because now I am excruciatingly aware, each time I pick up a book, of all the books I am shunning in order to focus on the one in my hand."
The above quote is from an article, Umberto Eco and the guilty pleasure of re-reading, by a cultural critic Julia Keller in Chigaco Tribune on November 9, 2011.

The older one becomes the more angsty urgency there is to read those books that should have been read a long time ago but never were for reasons of laziness, inattention, carelessness, active avoidance and other human failings. We all have only this finite time. As always: When one turns to embrace somebody, one's back is turned to all others.

I may have mentioned this already, Dear Reader, but my dream has been for a long time to read Dostoyevsky in Russian. I’ve even started learning Russian, several times in fact, just that particular dream in mind. Variations of the dream include Pushkin, Turgenev or Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina but funnily enough not his War and Peace.

I mention this in passing here because an angsty urgency has hit again and out comes the Russian learning material. Ludmila, a second-hand book dealer in the Saturdays’ book market in Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art-building, one of the post-modern buildings in an important Melburnian landmark, the Federation Square complex, has already got a request to look for a new Russian text for a desperate beginner.

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