Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Started on Gogol, already confused

UPDATE: In retrospect, I suppose the Russian role in the Greek Revolution wasn't that small, and then one considers the Russo-Turkish war immediately following it, so I suppose it makes sense that some provinicial who had some sort of military service could for some reason have paintings of figures from the Greek Revolution around the house. It's odd, but not incomprehensible.

I started on Gogol's Dead Souls because it quite fortunately arrived in the 12/31/07 post, but I am already slightly confused one of the characters. Mikhail Semyonovich Sobakevich (last name, of course, derived from "dog") is portrayed as being a bear whose furniture is essentially miniature versions of himself. What is incomprehensible: why does he have all those paintings of figures from the Greek Revolution? It seems rather random, despite the Russian involvement in the revolution. I have no problem with nonsense and randomness, but usually there is either some possible thread tying it together or it is completely nonsensical; what is hard to endure is something that may have some sense behind it which I cannot understand yet.

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