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The Last Picture Show (Mass Market)
Larry McMurtry
Bram Stoker, Ruben Toledo
Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius
Ray Monk
The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James, Patricia Crick
Maigret et le marchand de vin
Georges Simenon
Le Rouge et le Noir
A Hero of Our Time - Paul Foote, Mikhail Lermontov I read an older translation by a Lipmann which I thought was decent. I found it through google books.

I thought it was interesting how the author started with his own circumstances, then introduced a character who tells a tale of the true subject, then the author introduces the true subject himself who then tells the tale of his own life through the supposed medium of his journals. I don't have any particular comment other than that it is an interesting layering of fictionality.

As for the character of Petchorin himself, I found myself intrigued even despite myself. After the tale of Bela I was, like the narrator, posessed of a negative impression. I didn't expect that the journals would live up to the billing. Instead though I did find myself identifying with him and appreciating the contradictions of his character.

As far as the title goes I take it to be ironic but not completely. I think Petchorin is meant to be what he makes himself out to be, an object of mixed emotions. I think on the one hand he is meant to be despised for his weakness of character. On the other hand the self consciousness he displays in his writing did win my sympathy, as for someone cursed with any handicap. The narrator himself points to the title of the work as a testament to his estimation of Petchorin. Of course I don't think this is to be taken at face value, but that only reinforces my feeling that the title is meant in a mixed sense. Anyway, I am sure more could be said on the topic but not by me at the moment.

On the whole I feel this will be a work to stick in my mind.