In our brand new Cultured series Junior Hockey League media relations department is going to interview players about sophisticated matters. Put aside those pucks and sticks, let’s talk about literature and cinematography. Our first interlocutor is Russkie Vityazi Moscow Region defenseman Maxim Plekhov. He’s going to tell us why Pelevin books poorly translate to movies, if classic literature truly immortal and what does he advise young generation to read.
- Maxim, how often do you read and what literature do you prefer?
- I read a lot in the summer. If I find a good book during the season, I force myself to read everyday even if just a little. As for my preferences, no genre is taboo for me. I just read whatever I can get my hands on. In my opinion, every genre is exciting and interesting. I can’t single out any of them.
- Did you have a favorite author or book back in school?
- I almost never read in school. I was barely keeping up with the program. As the matter of fact, I warmed up to literature only when I got older.
- Do you remember the moment when you fell in love with literature?
- I think it all came to me with a certain age. Although, my teacher, who was preparing me for SATs, also played a role in it. There was also this story. One day my friend and I were at a café and we had an interesting conversation about Dovlatov’s Compromise. The following day I found the book in my sister’s room. I remember I was reading it whole night through. I would say that’s when it all began.
- Let’s talk about classic literature. What books would you say are immortal?
- I cherish only Russian classics. Personally, I would say it’s Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Hero Of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Most of their work is still very relevant and will be for many centuries to come. Are they going to fade away? I don’t think so. That’s why they’re classic.
- Speaking of Leo Tolstoy, have you read War and Peace?
- I started to read that when I was young but I never got far.
- Can you list the books you couldn’t finish? Some people say that there is an age and time for every book.
- Of course, I have a list of those books.
1. Hole by Alexander Kuprin. It was a little hard to read, perhaps due to no action;
2. Who Prospers In Russia by Nikolai Nekrasov and Doctor Jivago by Boris Pasternak. It found those books to be the most boring;
3. I attempted twice to read Jaroslav Hasek’s Travels of Brave Soldier Schweik. And I still couldn’t finish it. I think, it’s just not my book. I had enjoyed his short stories but not Schweik;
4. Friedrich Nietzsche’s By Zaratustra. I decided to give it a try but, looks like, I’m still but a green apple, if you know what I mean. I got almost nowhere.
Actually, there was never a time when I went back to the stuff I couldn’t finish before. Perhaps, War And Peace is going to be first on the list.
- Who do you like among modern writers?
- I like Pelevin. He’s the best writer in modern Russia.
- What books by him do you like?
- I read Generation P, Chapayev And Emptiness and his latest book Iphuck 10. I think Generation P is a witty and touching book.
- How did you like the movie made after it? Do you think Ginzburg was able to translate the book well?
- To be honest with you, I didn’t see the movie but I heard it didn’t turn out all that well.
- Do you think it’s even possible to translate Pelevin’s books into movies?
- I think you can’t translate everything that is written in the greatest books. Everybody finds something for himself in there, while in the movies we only see it from director’s perspective, their understanding of the book and their angle. Besides, acting comes in play as well. As for Pelevin, whichever of his books is made into a movie – it won’t be able to catch the phantasmagoria and irony, which is the basis of his work.
- What book-based movie do you find the best?
- When it comes to classics, I would say it’s the series bases on Joan Rowling and John Tolkien’s books. Most likely it’s because fantasy is the best suited genre to put in motion pictures.
- Look like you have read both of those series. What is your take on them?
- I have read some but not the whole series. Although, whoever I speak to, everybody praises the Harry Potter and Lord Of the Rings series. Both stories are magical and unique in their own way. Two different but exciting worlds. My generation grew up on those books and movies. I think, nobody is going to beat them ever.
- What was the latest book you’ve read?
- Three Men On A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. I enjoyed it. It’s a casual literature. It’s a perfect book to relax.
- What book would you recommend to your peers and younger generation?
- Ten Little Negroes by Agatha Christie. I can assure you – that’s a book you won’t be able not to finish.