I have decided to put off reading Morrison’s Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye for a while. I am also putting off Oz Revisited, as well. Why? Because with this new War in Ukraine, other things seemed more importance… The first of which is a novel or novella I want to write: The Firebird Unchained. I will not go into the plot, but it is about censorship in Russia, and how the main character–who as yet has no name–is an author whose underground stories he intends to help liberate Russia. It is true that censorship and Ukraine are not the only thing in Russia even after it attacked. However, I have three hopes: 1) that I can write a second novella or novel on Ukraine; 2) that I can do a significant amount of research for both works; 3) that while researching I can continue working on a book, Star Dust, which will take considerably less work researching.
The first book I am reading is one I always hoped to: Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is roughly 1200 pages long. I am convinced if I start tomorrow and take Saturdays (only) off, I can finish reading it in two weeks time. The way I research I can read 100 pages or so a day. On Saturday I shall begin The Complete Short Stories by Mark Twain. It is 676 pages long, but perhaps if I can read bits and pieces of it while reading War and Peace. After finishing War and Peace, I can read other Russian books during the week, and on the weekend read the following books:
For Zach Gold’s Childhood:
1) a book of Mark Twain’s novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (pgs. 1-129); The Prince and the Pauper (pgs. 130-252) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (pgs. 252-429); A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (pgs. 430-625); and The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (pgs. 626-718);
2) Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer Detective (this volume is 188 pgs.);
3) Joan of Arc by Mark Twain (452 pgs.);
4)The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (212 pgs.);
5) James Fennimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales: Volume I 1317 pgs. and Volume II 1030 pgs.;
For Zach Gold’s Teenage Years (to be read after his childhood is written):
6) The Iliad and the Odyssey;
7) Moby Dick;
8) Ahab’s Wife;
9) The Great Gatsby;
10) Tender is the Night;
11) Maize Gods;
12) Germs, Seeds, and Animals;
The book will go way beyond Zach’s teenage years, but this is already too big a project… particularly side by side with my Russian/Ukraine project/projects.
I hope all this will not be too big to juggle… and that the reader has not found my outlining this project deafeningly dull.
Tomorrow I shall begin reading War and Peace, however.