🔴 Which Novels Should You Read | CRP

I just finished recording this video and I realized that I should start it actually with a list of the books that you should read so here's the list right this list down or or take a screenshot or whatever these are the books and the rest of this video is just a discussion of these books okay okay let's get started people have been asking me for a while to tell them what novels to read hmm I keep saying that you know in the great 19th century novelist there are so many human truths that you can find and so they've asked me you know what novels should I read then okay so this video I'm going to talk about specifically what novels you should read mmm which writers you should read and why why these guys and I'm going to tell you about and everybody else you should just ignore well or or why should you pay more attention to these guys that I'm going to tell you because there are good reasons right and with every truth see if you cannot explain why something is true then you have to re-examine it then because it might not be true you see I mean I can wholeheartedly say that the novelist I'm going to tell you to read are the ones to read and I can give you good reasons and so let's just get started the first thing you have to understand is why you are reading novels full-stop the reason you are reading novels is because they can teach you about human behavior because the great novels were written by men who paid attention to other human beings who looked at them examined them as if under a microscope and they related in sometimes very good prose and sometimes kind of crappy prose how human beings actually are now this information this knowledge that you can glean from novels from the great novel right will serve you well for the rest of your life you will be able to find people who correspond to the great novels that you have read about yeah it's really crazy but it's true you will read Dostoevsky you will read Chekhov you will read whomever and as you grow older you'll come across people and you'll say oh this is just like that guy from Uncle Vanya or this is just like a lyosha or Ivan from The Brothers Karamazov you you will see them replicated in real life you will see the characters that you read about walking around and talking and acting as if they were real mm-hmm because they are that's the Butte these great writers so anyway enough of me going on and on about these great writers whom I love very much right let's talk about nitty-gritty who should you read well the first one is the Big D Dostoyevsky the first novel that you should read by Dostoyevsky is notes from underground oh yeah notes from underground is the perfect introduction to not just dusty Eskie but to all the literature I'm going to be discussing in this in this video ok notes from underground is the first-person narration by an unnamed narrator who is he's not totally crazy he's kind of crazy but you start to realize as you read the book that he has been so isolated he is so alone he is so lonely that he's gone a little bit nuts but he's not totally nuts right and that's the thing about him and you read him and you see how human he is and I remember when I read him when I was I don't know I must have been I want to say 17 or 18 and I was so struck by how human he was and how much I identified with him something else too is that see I read him and I realized that Salinger JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye was for all intents and purposes a copy of notes from underground of course notes from underground was written in 1860 whereas Catcher in the Rye was written 90 years later mhm and frankly Catcher in the Rye is a good book when you don't know much about literature but when you read a lot when you've read enough you look at catching the Rye and you look at notes from underground and you realize notes from underground is far more far better quite frankly far better far truer far more humane far more real I mean that's the thing about notes from underground you write read it and it's so real goddamn but notes from underground isn't the only great Dostoevsky novel there are a bunch actually but the ones that I would highlight the ones that I would read in this order would be notes from underground the idiot The Brothers Karamazov demons and finally crime and punishment now why this order actually now I think about it I would go notes from underground and then The Brothers Karamazov The Brothers Karamazov is his longest novel in his final novel right but it's actually the most readable it's a book that just gallops along the brothers cameras off is about four brothers the brothers karamazov with the title of course there is a Ivan Alyosha Smerdyakov and and what was the other one oh he slips my mind I'll remember it later but I'll probably remember it after I'm done with the video but that's not important see it's about these four brothers and their relationship with her father and of course their father is murdered is he's murdered by Smerdyakov who's the bastard son of the old man old man Karamazov right but to see all of the other brothers though they did not participate in the murder they sort of inspired and manipulated and almost cajoled Smerdyakov into doing the actual crime and it's about the relationship between men between men and their father it's just full of life and for me to try to describe it here is just a little bit of a waste of time read the book that's the second book by dusty s you should read notes from underground the brothers cameras off then read the idiot then demons demons is a great book demons the people who should be reading demons are of course and Tifa oh yeah and Tifa should be reading that because see demons is about the anti feh of the 19th century yeah these political crazies who at the time were called nihilists who did all kinds of stupidity or anything I'm not gonna get into it now but again see these novels what do they portray what does the CFC do in these novels he gives each of his characters a clear psychological type and a clear psychological background and then he just lets these characters run around and collide with one another they smash into one another and you see the sparks fly and you see how these different kinds of people these different kinds of psychological makeups interact and it's startling because what happens is that see all these novels were written in the 1860s and 70s right and yet a hundred and fifty odd years later they're still relevant you read The Brothers Karamazov you read the idiot you read demons you read crime and punishment and you understand the characters because those characters are human beings and human beings they don't change that's why dusty F's key he's the number one guy that you should be reading the second guy you should be reading is Anton Chekhov now Anton Chekhov is actually not a novelist he's a playwright of course and he wrote some fantastic work that again is all about people it's all about human psychology it's all about how people interact and how they're selfish desires clash with their desire to be good people and help one another right but the selfishness sometimes win and sometimes the selfishness is submerged by altruism by a desire for goodness by a desire for grace now Chekhov I would say is not so psychologically astute as Dostoevsky or or not as great a psychologist as just yeskey right but Chekhov shows something that sometimes eludes dusty of ski because no CFC is so trying to be psychologically real psychologically true that sometimes he misses out on what Chekhov captures so well which is the desire of all human beings to strive towards something higher for a higher purpose in life to not just simply act out of psychological impulses but rather to strive towards greatness greatness in a spiritual sense even though dusty su was a was a religious believer Anton Chekhov captures that a little bit a little bit tighter especially in plays like there were the four major place there was the Cherry Orchard there was Uncle Vanya the three sisters and what was the fourth one slipping my mind now but the point these four plays are the ones that you should read and I would suggest you start with Uncle Vanya and if you're lazy or are you're a little bit intimidated by reading this stuff what you should really start in so far as Chekhov is concerned is this great film made in the early 90s called Vanya on 42nd Street now this movie was directed by Louis Malle Louis ma was a famous French film director he's very good and the film is beautiful beautifully acted and all the rest of it and what it is is actually what it is the movie is about how andre gregory a a theater director gathers a bunch of actors in an abandoned theater to stage an adaptation of Uncle Vanya now the text in the movie is a translation made by David Mamet and it's a very good production of course but the movie all the actors are dressed in regular contemporary street clothes like current date today street clothes right and yet the play is set in the 19th century and yet somehow and and this is the genius of check off right with all due respect to on to Louis Malle as the film director and andre gregory as the director of the play within the movie this comes from check off the brilliance that see even though they are dressed in clothes of the 1990s you are instantly transported into the world of the 1860s I believe the play is set in right and yet even though you are transported into that past milieu of Russia and in a country house in Russia where the action takes place you even forget about that as you see the psychology of the characters and their aims and desires the movie is beautiful it's beautiful a wonderful picture ok it's a wonderful movie and it captures the brilliance and beauty of the play Uncle Vanya read Uncle Vanya and read the Cherry Orchard that's a it's it's about how the middle-class rise up and how the old aristocracy the old people in control no longer have the moral fiber the moral strength to maintain and very it's relevant to what's going on today the Cherry Orchard Uncle Vanya three sisters and what was the name of the fourth play it slipped my mind you're probably seeing it now I'm probably putting it up on the video read that play too okay even though I forgotten it because you know Alzheimer's I'm telling you check off Anton Chekhov all the way and then of course we come to the third big Russian which is Tolstoy yeah Leo Tolstoy count Leo Tolstoy a lot of people think that he is the greatest novelist of all time I respectfully disagree but he's up there okay the novel you should start with insofar as Tolstoy is concerned is the death of Yvonne Ilic that is a novel that I remember reading it when I was 20 and I reread it and I realized that this writer could capture the notion of death what it feels like to no longer exist and that's the power of Tolstoy he is able to put you into a mental state like few other writers have ever been able to do okay of any language even in a bad Tolstoy translation you're gonna get into the psychic space and you read the death of Eve on a leech which is a very short novel his shortest novel probably and you'll get a sense of Tolstoy he is this big presence he is a little bit like God and he's sort of like played up to that okay he has added to that yes I am the god of my fictional universe and I'm going to stride across it as such yeah he's got that thing going that whole god complex going but he tells you things that are true about human existence so the the first novel you should read is Yvonne le to the death of Yvonne eel each by in the atoll story the second toaster novel you should read is Anna Karenina Anna Karenina a powerful novel about domestic about the potential unhappiness of domesticity and it opens with the most famous line in literature practically he says all happy families are all alike but every unhappy family is different yeah that's very very true you know and Anna Karenina is about marriage it's about domestic it's about the constraints of domestically and how those constraints can be elevating and yet at the same time destructive and is it's a very powerful novel the problem with Tolstoy is that he tends to idealize and-and-and make into a MarySue a certain kind of woman not quite a Mary Sue but he tends to idealize a certain kind of petite blonde woman right because this was his idealization of the perfect woman and he kept inserting this perfect woman in just about every book that he ever wrote right but like the fiery central character of Anna Karenina them The Namesake character right she is powerful fiery impulsive very wise very awake very foolish and ultimately her end is tragic and and of course it's a great novel because of it because as you see her fate develop as you see what her choices lead her to you see not just the effects on herself but the effects on everybody around her and it's a powerful novel and then after that after that you should read war and peace or the courts or senado the courtesan is a short novel so yeah the courts are sanada that would be a great novel that's still controversial over 140 odd years after it was written the courts are Sanada is still controversial that should say something about it I'm Esther Warren peace excuse me Warren peace is a great novel it's a huge novel right but it's a little bit cold hmm it is a great novel and it shows the Napoleonic conquest of Russia in the war of 1812 and all that but but great though it is it it teaches about people but not as much as the other books okay Warren piece is an important book for Russia it's an important book for Russian literature and the Russian national psyche but insofar as understanding people which is what the whole point of this video is about it's about books that will teach you about people it's Avani leach Anna Karenina the Kreutzer Sonata and if you got time read warm piece yeah but you're gonna need a lot of time to read that monster oh yeah now another playwright who's worth reading that is sort of like he teaches you a lot about people but at the same time he's sort of like on the limit okay and I'll explain this lemon in just a moment but see the the one that you should read also but is not as important as the others I've already mentioned is Henrik Ibsen now Henrik Ibsen wrote a series of remarkable plays and they're all quite brilliant and yet you know some of them are more valuable than others insofar as this project that I'm telling you is concerned the plays that you should read by Epson are ghosts and most especially enemy of the people enemy of the people is is a remarkable play it was written in 1880 I want to say something like that and it was a reaction to the criticisms he received for ghosts because ghost was a very realistic play that talked about a whole bunch of very scandalous things you know basically about incest adultery venereal diseases all kinds of stuff like that the things that at that time were kind of taboo and it caused a lot of scandal and as a reaction to it Epson wrote a play called the enemy of the people and it's really interesting because in the play you could tell that originally he wanted to set the main character as this put-upon figure right because in the play an enemy of the people it's about this character and I forget the name of the guys some Norwegian name or whatever but the character right he is a doctor at a spa and the the waters of the spa are poisoned right and he as a play opens he's discovered this and he decides that he's going to tell everybody the truth right the the truth of what he has discovered which is kind of like what you'd think that Epson would think of himself insofar as bringing the truth of adultery venereal disease incest and all the rest of it that he brought with ghosts because everything in ghosts is very human it's very true it's it's true of the human condition right and so even wrote this play the enemy of the people and the central character was this doctor who like I said finds out that the waters of the spa of his town are poisoned and this is very important because see the the town depends on the business that the spa brings in and if it turns out that the waters of the spa are poison then people aren't going to go to that spa and so the town is going to suffer because of it now he has this truth right but what's interesting and and what's remarkable about the play is that see the doctor insists on telling everybody the truth but rather than try to work with the people of the town the mayor of the town of the owner of the local tannery that is poisoning the water working with the people to come up with a solution to this problem he insists on going out there and insulting everybody and on everybody right to show that he is right and everybody else is a fool who does that remind you of huh I mean there are some other plays by Epson that I have serious problems with we principally a doll's house dolls house is you know supposed to be a feminist play and what-have-you I think it's a crock of to tell you the truth the first two acts of a doll's house are remarkable I mean brilliant right the third act the final act is a bit of a disaster right and the end is just so much okay but that's not important for this conversation what's important here is that absent in the enemy of the people right he is delineating a psychological type he is delineating somebody that you probably know quite well if you're watching my videos right which is you know the guy who knows the truth but rather than try to slide in that truth so that people accept it and embrace it he uses that truth as a bludgeon to hit people and of course nobody likes being hit and and what happens to the the guy the the titular character the enemy of the people this doctor well what happens is that he becomes socially isolated because instead of trying to slide in the truth and help people understand and help them not only understand but come to a solution because the key issue of the play is that a solution is possible right but this man he is so obsessed with bludgeoning people with the truth that he becomes completely isolated and the people keep on going to the spot they keep on getting poisoned at the spa right and he is isolated right think of it think of the the the psychology of the character right and that's what's brilliant about the play and that's what's brilliant about absent see because it teaches you something about people and that play in particular and at the enemy of the people that most especially now I've mentioned a few writers and I've told you specifically what to read right now you're probably getting the idea that all of the stuff that I'm recommending is from over a hundred years ago and you're probably asking me you know why not something more relevant quote-unquote something more recent and the answer is quite simple you see because in the nine teen century and and I can actually pinpoint the moment it was with Madame Bovary the great novel by Gustave Flaubert right at that moment we had modernism now what was modernism the the notion of modernism in lurch in novels well it was the notion that form was more important the form how something was written the structure of it was more important than the characters the characters became secondary and this evolution if you want to call it I personally think it's a devolution well that started with Madame Bovary Madame Bovary was the great French novel written I believe in 1866 by Gustave Flaubert and it's really the only really great novel that he wrote he brought some other but Madame Bovary was it it's beautifully written beautifully structured and for those of you who don't know it's about the character the title character Madame Bovary who is this flighty silly woman she is flighty and she is silly and quite rightly she's a bit stupid and because of this and because of her impulsivity she does a whole host of things of little misadventures that lead to tragedy tragedy for herself and to all the people around her and because of her foolishness she it just creates a mess a mess of everybody's lives right and it's a fascinating character study it's very human just like the other writers that I was mentioning but the difference and why Madame Bovary is key is because Gustave Flaubert devoted an enormous amount of time to how he wrote Madame Bovary he slaved over every sentence every paragraph every page right it took him years to read the book right and it is a great novel and a formal sense in a human sense in a psychological sense it's alright it's not bad but the others are better but see what happened was that literature as opposed to following the example of Dostoevsky who was kind of like a snob a sloppy writer but he was very psychologically astute extremely psychological astute and his characters are are fool they feel alive right that's the greatness of josef ski right but he was a sloppy Rider well people after a Madame Bovary after Gustave Flaubert they started paying more attention to the form form became everything and you can see it quite easily you look at the great riders who came after a GU style Flaubert who by the way Gustave Flaubert published Madame Bovary the same year that does the f ski published crime and punishment but Western literature followed Madame Bovary and we got as an example as descendants rather of this formalism we got Henry James we got Ernest Hemingway we got William Faulkner we got James Joyce we got then the post modernists right we got what Thomas Pynchon we got Don DeLillo right John Updike I forgot about him yeah John Updike you know he was called by Allan bloom he was called a a third-rate novelist with a first-rate prose style which basically captures the problem see everybody became so concerned about writing beautifully that they no longer wrote humanely they no longer wrote about human beings they wrote beautiful fluff beautiful you see and that's why the 20th century novelists and the 21st century novelists you know they're they're laughable they're trivial they're stupid and pathetic because they're not talking about human beings right all the writers I've discussed so far they wrote about people some of them like Dostoevsky like Tolstoy even they were sometimes sloppy in the writing yeah sometimes they broke all kinds of rules that today would have people at MFA programs outraged outraged that they've done such a thing right but they didn't give a they didn't care about formal rules because what they cared about was capturing the human experience and this is why you have to read these writers because they consciously wanted to capture what it was to be a human being and even in their minor characters these writers like Tolstoy Dostoevsky like Chekhov and Ibsen they want to capture the reality of existence of what human beings are actually like mm-hmm now that's the whole point of reading a novel right that's the whole point of reading narrative prose fiction mm-hmm and yeah I mean like in in this little video I've told you talk to you about to actual novelists and to playwrights but you should read them these are the guys that you should read this is where you should start you start with these guys and you're gonna start to realize how much contemporary writers actually are you're gonna start to realize how unimportant their work actually is okay now I'm not talking about like like commercial writers who are just writing entertainments that that's perfectly respectable I used to be such a writer I published novels thrillers that were just to entertain people I didn't have any ambitions to be a great writer I had ambitions to entertain people and may hopefully make a ton of money for myself right but see the serious novelists the serious writers of today and frankly of the last hundred and hundred and thirty-odd years I would say they don't care about people they care about impressing one another they care about writing a beautiful prose but not writing insightfully truthfully about people mm-hm now you should understand this and that's why you should read these books that I've recommended these are the books that matter and then after that you just keep on reading and you'll figure it out

22 thoughts on “🔴 Which Novels Should You Read | CRP

  1. very insightful observations.. and very fun manner of telling. now a days they mostly write "beautiful fluff" indeed 🙂

  2. Yukio Mishima, though not considered western literature, it embodies the ideas from the works of Nietzsche and Mann, and his works really focus on the individual's struggle (until the individual ultimately meets their end).

  3. Then after that read all of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s non-fiction, starting with the Gulag Archipelago Volume One and then you’ll be hooked on Solzhenitsyn and have to track down everything he ever wrote and read it all. Or so I’ve heard…

  4. Read Anna Karenina recently. The characters are brilliantly portrayed and their same flaws and behaviors can be seen in people around you today – very enlightening and a captivating read.

  5. Where can i find audio version of this books for free? Please Help ! I,am driving 2-5 hours and have time to listen

  6. Looks like you employed soft focus filters on your lenses for this video. I guess you're shooting for your audience to see the softer side of you.

  7. I tried to read "Notes from the underground" in a different language other than my native one. I found it tedious but now I will read it again in earnest. I only have it in a foreign language but it's not in original Russian anyway. So here goes.

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