I’ll get right on that!

The absurdly overwhelming nature of the world is a fun thing to contemplate.  One of my favorite demonstrations is when public intellectuals (I guess we’d call them?) on the Internet assign homework.  This is from Andrew Sullivan:

Praising Mahoney’s book, Carl Scott advises those unfamiliar with Solzhenitsyn’s work where to start:

Had I to start over again, I’m not sure the order I’d go in, but certainly theGULAG Archipelago first, in the abridged edition, perhaps some of the key essays and speeches next, available in the Solzhenitysn Reader, edited by Ericson and Mahoney, and then onto either In the First Circle, or the first two first “knots” of the super-novel The Red Wheel, namely, the just reissued–in the superior/complete Willetts translations–August 1914 and November 1916. The third of these is one of my very favorite novels, despite the criticism it gets for providing too much history and political commentary alongside its main sections. For In the First Circle and August 1914, make sure you get the newer versions. And somewhere in there, you need to delve into a number of the short stories and poems.

The “abridged edition” is 528 pages long.  I MIGHT not make it to the second of the two knots of the super-novel after I read 14.9 ounces about gulags?

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