Dictionary of the Khazars

Dictionary of the Khazars

Paperback(Male Edition)

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A national bestseller, Dictionary of the Khazars was cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year. Written in two versions, male and female (both available in Vintage International), which are identical save for seventeen crucial lines, Dictionary is the imaginary book of knowledge of the Khazars, a people who flourished somewhere beyond Transylvania between the seventh and ninth centuries. Eschewing conventional narrative and plot, this lexicon novel combines the dictionaries of the world's three major religions with entries that leap between past and future, featuring three unruly wise men, a book printed in poison ink, suicide by mirrors, a chimerical princess, a sect of priests who can infiltrate one's dreams, romances between the living and the dead, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679724612
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1989
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Male Edition
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 626,580
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Milorad Pavić was a much loved writer, specializing in poetry, short stories, and literary histories. Pavić was born in Serbia. His works have gained acclaim worldwide, with translations of his titles existing in over thirty languages.  Pavić  was not only popular in his native Serbia, he also reached great acclaim in South America and Europe, where he was considered to be one of the greatest writers of his time. Pavić is the author of Dictionary of the Khazars, Landscape Painted with Tea, Second Body, and many more.

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Dictionary of the Khazars 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Milorad Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars was translated from the Serbo-Croatian and first published in English in 1988. It discards the traditional machinery of the novel in favour of an elaborately-conceived dictionary format that reflects critically and playfully on the possibilities of The Book.
deebee1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only way to describe it is DIFFERENT, and yes, in big letters. It was with some hesitation that i started this novel owing to its unusual format --- it is a purported lexicon about the Khazar people composed of three books, the Red, the Green, and the Yellow book, representing Christian, Islamic and Hebrew record sources respectively. Some of the entries are cross-referenced to each other, but the story/description in one book may be different or even be conflicting with that in another book, so one may end up with different versions of the same story. The book can be read in many different ways, and here the reader can opt how to proceed -- i chose to read the cross-referenced entries first, and then what were "independent" entries --- whether randomly or by a more systematic approach doesn't matter, the entries are folk tales and narratives which are interrelated, but can stand as individual tales in themselves. The book takes the reader to the realm of dreams, legends, myths, folklore, and there is a lot of beautiful imagery and wonderful prose (I didn't know before this how poor my imaginative skill was!) :-) I had to learn to let go of the usual mindset when reading a novel (plot, characterization, setting, etc) everytime i opened the book because only then do i start to enjoy the vivid images that each page evoke. This is a book recommended for those who are feeling a little adventurous and courageous to try something unusual...
Lapsus16 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most amazing books you will ever read. It makes absolutely no sense at all, but it shows how style can be pleasant, how literature can still be music, and how fiction and history can be seen as different opinions on the same events.
zenitsky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the strangest books I have read. Pavic takes both real and imagined events and combines them into three dictionaries (actually encyclopedias) of the three faiths (Christian, Muslim, and Jewish) that participated in the Khazar Polemic in the eighth century CE. This is a book that is hard to classify. It is not for everyone. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
cherish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I honestly couldn't finish this one. I am incredibly intrigued by its format, though. Some day I will give it another try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Hockey_Monkey More than 1 year ago
A friend and I just happened to randomly find this book at a bookshop and decided to take a look at it since neither of us had ever heard of it or had seen it before. The summary provided on the back cover sounded interesting, so I bought it and started reading it as soon as I finished the book I was reading at the time. While the writing style is unconventional to say the least, that is one of the reasons that I loved it so much. Pavic pushed the boundaries of writing by creating a novel in the form of a reference style book which can be read front to back or by skipping around and cross referencing the various entries; he leaves it up to the reader to decide the way in which they experience the story. At first it was a little slow, but as soon as characters and events started overlapping and connecting I wanted to keep reading because the big picture was becoming clear which is what this book is all about. Additionally, there is a "male" edition and a "female" edition, which differ by about a paragraph of text, again leaving it up to the reader to decide the fate of the story. While it isn't necessary to read both editions, it definitely is worth researching the difference online as it is significant. Without sounding pretentious, it's possible that this is one of the best books you've probably never heard of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book - refreshingly different, on the verge of feeling like non-fiction, beautifully mythological, and incredibly visual.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book made me think of Alice in Wonderland with the vivid descriptions and use of imagery. Yet, a more serious undertone than in Alice. Given the spiritual aspects of this literature it delves far deeper into ones psyche. It also brings to my mind that life is an open play and there are those who either watch or participate what a wonderful theme. Now I'm so looking forward to reading the male version of this book as well.