An East European Reading List

Unwittingly I’ve been accumulating quite a stack of East European writers to read, so I plan to tackle the following during the first six months of this year. My eastward direction is perhaps a guilty reaction to my failure to head west to pursue my commitment to the Savage Detectives Group Read. I’m consumed with Krasznahorkai at present and don’t wish to read anything else for a few more weeks.

  1. The Melancholy of Resistance – László Krasznahorkai
  2. War & War – László Krasznahorkai
  3. Sátántango – László Krasznahorkai
  4. Embers – Sándor Márai
  5. Parallel Stories – Péter Nádas
  6. Fiasco – Imre Kertész
  7. Dukla – Andrzej Stasiuk
  8. Memories of the Future – Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
  9. Theory of Prose – Viktor Shklovsky
  10. The Book Of Hrabal– Péter Esterházy
  11. The Foundation Pit – Andrei Platonov
  12. Skylark – Dezső Kosztolányi
  13. The Notebook / The Proof / The Third Lie – Ágota Kristóf

Broad and yellow is the evening light

Broad and yellow is the evening light,

The coolness of April is dear.
You, of course, are several years late,
Even so, I’m happy you’re here.

Sit close at hand and look at me,
With those eyes, so cheerful and mild:
This blue notebook is full, you see,
Full of poems I wrote as a child.

Forgive me, forgive me, for having grieved
For ignoring the sunlight, too.
And especially for having believed
That so many others were you.

Anna Akhmatova (1915)