too many Russians are writing long books

The Brothers Karamazov is too long. War and Peace is even longer. It’s 1,400 pages in the Penguin edition. Atlas Shrugged is also more than a thousand pages of very small print (8 point I believe). My thesis is that Russians are writing long books. I think I’ve taken care of that. (This is why I didn’t get high marks on literature papers; literature professors expect more words to say very simple things and I never had the energy; maybe it was my diet.)

Tolstoy was a great writer and a tremendous communist. This is an unusual combination appropriate only to Russia. It takes genius to make it work. Viva la anti-romanza! He wrote long books because he wanted to make sure none of his stories ever got made into movies. That’s a capitalist weakness that the communists gave up after the world ran out of money to make movies in the 30s; everyone else got movie money back except for Russia. To protect his books from Hollywood he wrote hundreds of important characters into them. Hollywood simply incised them. They did such a thorough job with Anna Karenina that it became a one woman show with a running time of 1hr 32m.

Dostoevski wrote many books, each longer than the one before it. And his first book was the longest. (This is an example of the kind of logic they teach at MIT. Perhaps it’s a shame I did not go there. Comedic training like that cannot even be had at UCLA anymore.) He was Russian too.

Ayn Rand was born in Russia but she was not Russian. There is no Russian race. It is like Mexican or British, a nationality. Get it straight. Still, she wrote long books and talked about Tolstoy, so there you have it.

Detailed thoroughness of this Russian-school grade is appropriate to a research oncologist. Not a novelist. Be graceful and discover the trilogy if you must. You don’t hear me railing Proust, do you?

Russian writers need to learn to get to the point quicker. Even Ms. Rand. I will fight any man, woman, or child who slanders Ms. Rand. There is, however, a single speech in her opus that is 60-pages-of-very-small-print-long. One speech. Come off it.

Chekhov may have written some long stuff too, I’m not sure. I know more about Sulu.

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