Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is this a message?

Dear Jenny,

I've been struggling a bit with The Master and Margarita. Every time I start to get into it, a new chapter starts and it feels like an entirely new cast of characters gets introduced. I'm beginning to see the plots interweaving, but keeping focused has been a bit difficult. Maybe it's just Summer Brain, but it's not yet coming together for me.

All of the Russian names are not helping. Not only the whole "I am struggling to keep these long-ass foreign names straight" issue, but also because the Russians loooove nicknames. So you have to keep track of several names for every Russian character. Whee!

Honestly, I've considered making this my first "bail" book of the year (although it is really hard for me to dump a book.) (Really hard.) and then I was at Powell's this past weekend and saw this:

Ha! It's a t-shirt for The Master and Margarita! And doesn't that cat look like he's judging me? "What do you meeeean you're not going to finish this book?"

So I guess I gotta finish it. The damned t-shirt cat has judged me and I refuse to let him win.


PS -- They had a ton of other book cover t-shirts there, including The Great Gatsby. I was sorely tempted, but it was a truly hideous royal blue color that I just couldn't get behind.


  1. K,

    It's not judgment, it's INSPIRATION! And just at the time you needed it the most. Put a more positive spin on it. Although I will admit that it is one stern looking cat.

    It seems especially funny to me---because I can say that I had never even heard of that book before you wrote about it here!


    PS. I need some ETSY help. I have thought of the perfect birthday gift for Darrell: a wallet that says "Bad Ass Motherfucker" on it, like Pulp Fiction. (We saw some wallets on a NYC street this weekend and were joking about it). It seems like ETSY would be the place to find it, but that place overwhelms me. Help!

  2. Also, were you in Portland last weekend? I know how much you love it there.


  3. Kelly, I'm totally with you on the Russian names. My dad *adores* Dostoevsky, so I keep trying to read him just to see what my dad loves about him, but the multiple, multi-consonanted names for every character starts to drive me crazy. (I ended up reading a summary for the 2nd half of Crime and Punishment because I just couldn't take it anymore.)

  4. Also, Jen?

  5. Don't know how, but I totally missed your comments, Jenny!

    First, I bet this is going to be one of those things where you hear The Master and Margarita all the time now, right?

    Second, for the wallet, I guess I'd go to the "BMF Wallet Shop" -- looks like they're pretty proud of the authenticity of their product. (And, hey -- buy 1, get 50% off the second. You could one for yourself!)

    Side note: Do not be afraid of Etsy. Etsy is big, but I promise it is your friend. Lovely, lovely Etsy.

    Let's see... third, yes, we were in Portland. Loves it. It's the craftiest town on earth! There's a full-on Crafty Re-cap of my weekend over at Trancraftinental, if you're interested. And, of course, we went to Powell's twice. I must say that it is not nearly as dangerous since I am on the eBook wagon, BUT I still bought books. Craft books do not translate well on Kindle, so there's always that. Plus there are tons of out-of-print or independently published books there. Also, art books. I mostly avoided the Fiction area (!!) except that I did pick up 13, rue Thérèse per Judy's recommendation. It's got a lot of images in it, so I knew it wouldn't be Kindle-friendly. I got it Used, so less that I would have spent on Amazon. Sa-weet. Loves me some Powell's. I could live there.

    Julie -- Thanks for the Russian name struggle support. For some reason, I don't remember suffering during Crime and Punishment -- in fact, I really loved that book when I read it. I wonder if I still would... it's been almost 20 years. I probably have less tolerance for the name struggles now. :) The *nicknames* are really killing me in this book. They're not related to the actual name of the person at *all* so you just have to remember who is who. Ugh.

    Still sticking with this book, although I have to re-orient myself with each new chapter as it bounces from story to story and that is bugging me. I think it's starting to come together now. I'm about 1/3 of the way through and the month is about 1/3 over, so that's good. I also have 2 more trips this month, so plenty of reading time.

  6. I ended up getting one from the ETSY shop, it's not as nice as the ones in the BMF wallet shop...but this is a gag gift. It's hard for me to imagine Darrell actually *using* this wallet. Although now I'm really torn. Maybe I'm wrong and should get the leather one! I guess the Etsy one was only $10, so if it's awful, maybe I'll get a real one. Heh.

    Etsy is awesome. But here's the thing: by avoiding going there, I'm also avoiding the outflow of cash. That Etsy is one expensive habit!