Saturday, December 22, 2012

Masha'a 6th Finger

Masha: " A green oak by the curving shore, and on that oak a chain of gold."

When faced with questions like: "What is the benefit of the books you are reading?" I found myself not sure what to say. Sometimes the answer came as: "Experiences, to witness individual's experiences". Regarding, for example, the history of Algeria, acountry that I care much about, novels were great additin to what I knew from history books. The individual's experiences matter a lot.

But what about reading a novel, or a play, from Russia? From an era that I ignore? 
Is it still a human experience that I am motivated to know about? Motivated? What motivates me? Reading Chekhov in English after reading it in Arabic seems an exercise in English.  

"Three Sisters" is a play about "the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world" as the wikipedia states. "Dissatisfied with their presence and existence" the three sisters long to Moscow.
 Vershinin: "I read a great deal, but I don't know how to select books and perhaps I don't read what I ought." p.118

I found another translation of the "Three Sisters" and now in French. I thought about reading it again in French as an exercise but Masha answered me:

Masha: "Knowing three languages in this town is a useless luxury. Not even a luxury. It's a useless appendage, like a sixth finger. We know a lot of unnecessary things." p104

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