I know today should be a post about all the books I read this month but there's enough days left in September that I'm trying to get a couple more finished and I'll write a post next week.
Today's post is about my love of Russia. Well, Russia before the Revolution. I think two things in childhood started my love of Russia and it's monarchy. First was the Catherine the Great mini-series staring Julia Ormond. I can remember watching that with my mother and loving it. I can't believe that was 1991!
The second, is this book. For some reason it wasn't with my mother's books but sat with some other novels on the kid shelf. I can remember holding it and staring at the cover. When I left home I took it with me. I eventually borrowed a copy from the library and read it, since this one was in rough shape. I know I did a project about them but I can't remember if that was my last year of high school or my first year of university. I also read Massie's second book about them (I own it as well) and have a book that contains most of Nicholas' and Alexandra's letters to each other. I don't know why I'm interested in Russian monarchy, how they treated their people, their wealth and the revolution that ended it all but I am.
The Little Guy got hold of the book one morning and within a couple seconds the book was in pieces and I was almost in tears. I love the cover and that it was now in two pieces broke my heart. Who knew it meant so much to me.
I also remember reading this page over and over again as a kid and being in shock that these were real people. The heading is perfect: "THEIR LOVE COST AN EMPIRE". Who would't want to read more?
But my son's destruction of my beloved Russians didn't end there. This is what my copy of Doctor Zhivago looks like. He's lucky that he's so cute or he'd be out of here.
Now I need to decide what to do with my destroyed novels. They aren't worth fixing but I can't bring myself to throw them away. I love these words but they are unreadable as is. Then I remembered something I've been wanting to try for awhile but haven't. Blackout poetry.
I started with the Contents page of Zhivago.
Blacked out some lines and came up with this:
The Forest House
It's not great but it was fun and creative. And I couldn't stop at just one.
The translator's note has been transformed.
Then I started with some of the pages that came loose from the novel. The first few I started at the top and worked my way down. Then I started by picking a few words near the middle of the page. Then I would go to the top of the page and leave either individual words or several words exposed with the others blacked out. This was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I think I need to buy some more sharpies. If you click on the pictures, they will enlarge and you can read them. I'm thinking of continuing this project and adding a page for it on the blog. I'm unsure what my mom will think of this. I'm glad I got to do this with a well loved book instead of one I didn't care for. It somehow makes the "poems" more special.
I haven't done anything to Nicholas and Alexandra. Yet.