Duh, that’s why it’s called classic literature and why it’s still around.

I bought an ebook reader this morning; the price was right, and it’ll be kinda nice to be able to carry a library with me instead of just a book.

It was pre-loaded with a lot of stuff from Project Gutenberg, some of which I’ll be keeping, and some of which I’ve already deleted. The Holmes stuff stays, let there be no doubt about that. And it’ll be neat to have digital editions of our old ‘zine/APA in there as I convert them all slowly to digital format.

Anyway, I was sorting through the files, a lot of which is in the “classic literature” category that has never really appealed to me — Dickens, Austen, Melville, that sort of thing. The stuff they make you read in high school lit classes.

And in there is a translation of Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”.

Now, I’ve never read Dostoevsky, in Russian or English — and my Russian is too far gone now for me to do anything more than clumsily sound out each incomprehensible word. So I opened the file, thinking it monstrously unfair to nuke it unread.

And read the whole thing (it’s not that long to begin with) in one sitting, even though I had a blazing headache.

That’s how classic literature becomes classic literature, isn’t it? It’s so damn readable!

Anyway, I’m still sorting through what to keep and what’s to go, and what my ‘permanent library’ should be. I’m keeping the Conan Doyle, Twain and Carroll and nuking the Dickens, Austen and Melville — everything else, I haven’t decided yet. I think I’m probably keeping The Art of War — I dipped into it and found it intriguing. And then I need to go to Gutenberg and get Jekyll and Hyde, and some ERB.


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