Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Tale of Two Re-Reads

I am engaged in re-reading two novels with two book clubs, one that meets by Zoom and one in person. They gloriously connect, making it a Random Coinciday in the blog. And one begins with a poem, making it a Poetry Someday! Friday, the Zoom group discussed The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, one of my favorite novels ever, in part due to its novel-within-the-novel about Pontius Pilate and Yeshua. Right now, I am immersed in the re-reading of A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles, in which a man is confined to the Metropol Hotel on house arrest. (Is somebody making a movie of this yet?!*) Both novels take place in Moscow during the Bolshevik Revolution and its aftermath, in the 1920s and thereabouts, and on page 84 of A Gentleman in Moscow, Bulgakov is mentioned in a list of beloved Russian poets. In fact (fiction), the book begins with a poem by the beloved (fictional) poet Count Alexander Hyich Rostov, the hero in house arrest.

*Wikipedia tells me A Gentleman in Moscow is being adapted into a limited series to be released on Paramount+ and Showtime. It was to star Kenneth Branagh, but now will star Ewan McGregor. OK, then!

These two books, along with the Geena Davis memoir I am about to return to the library, have given great calm and delight and relief as I cuddle up on the couch under a blue fleece in the wee hours or the hours in between helping my parents prepare for a big move. Working hard with my wonderful sister, who has returned from Abe & Mary  Lincoln research in Springfield to cook and to sort, organize, launder, etc.--whatever needs doing. So, yes, we are still tidying, and it is still magical. And exhausting. In physical and emotional ways. Reading as a comfort is also the ongoing awakening of empathy, so it all helps.

Also, both novels contain significant cats and dogs! They help, too.

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