I don’t usually do the meme thing, but I’ve succumbed before, and when Cassandra beckons, who am I to decline? So here goes.

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Nabokov’s Speak, Memory.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Don’t think so. When I was at the age to have crushes, I was reading mainly science fiction, which back then wasn’t in the crushworthy-character business.

The last book you bought is?
Alien Tongues: Bilingual Russian Writers of the “First” Emigration, by Elizabeth Klosty Beaujour (and I thank naxosaxur for bringing it to my attention in the comments to this post; I can’t wait to read it!).

What are you currently reading?
A bunch of books about Russia in the exciting years before the 1917 revolution(s): Paul Miliukov and the Quest for a Liberal Russia, 1880-1918, by Melissa Kirschke Stockdale (Milyukov knew fourteen modern languages in addition to Latin and Greek); A Revolution of the Spirit: Crisis of Value in Russia, 1890-1924, edited by Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal and Martha Bohachevsky Chomiak; Blok’s fiery essays of 1907-08 (collected in my handsome OLMA-Press edition of Blok); Voline‘s The Unknown Revolution—incidentally, I created the Wikipedia page for Volin (or Voline, in the French transliteration he used), an important figure who’s been almost forgotten; Orlando Figes’s A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924; and memoirs by Milyukov, Nina Berberova and her first husband Vladislav Khodasevich, and others.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:
I could actually be content with Beth’s list:
1. The Iliad
2. Collected Poems, Czeslaw Milosz
3. Oxford Book of American Verse
4. Collected Works of William Shakespeare (we’re going for length and re-readability here)
5. A Bible (maybe) or The Book of Common Prayer
But I’d probably replace the Bible with a collected Pushkin, and the other selections would vary depending on my mood at the time of choosing. Also, I’d want an OED.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
I’m not. Let them get their own stick.

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