Monday, April 26, 2010

Resignation of the (Russian) Soul

I've been AWOL for a few weeks, reading and weaving and working on yoga stuff. Recently, a knitting teacher pointed out to me that I could either spend hours looking at Ravelry and yarn websites and such, or I could do something craft-ish. I've taken that to heart and have been trying to get through a few projects before I leave for my next yoga training (3 hats, one scarf done - at least one scarf and a hat to go, and maybe some felted potholders for someone who doesn't wear hats.)

My favorite new quote is from Elif Bautman's The Possessed, a wonderfully funny and smart book about Russian literature, grad school, grant finagling, dwarves, Tolstoy (I also read Anna Karenina early on and still love its first lines the most of any book), ice houses, and the strange, socially maladjusted, intensely competitive dinners that Bautman finds herself attending throughout the book. Nothing like academics to kill a conversation. (Still, the best book on academia is Kinglsey Amis' Lucky Jim. Especially the phone calls, which are almost as good as the phone calls in Muriel Spark's Memento Mori.)

Anyway, I love this phrase and have appended the word Russian into it - it has a better flow that way. I've been using it all weekend, especially when things are going haywire. Best is to look slightly downcast, speak in a calm tone that is half acceptance, half embitteredness, and intone, ah, resignation of the  Russian soul...

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