Unbearable lightness of dating
The Master and Margarita offers something for everyone, right up from the age of consent all the way to the advanced post-doctorate level. The Bergin/O'Connor version is what you want, it's unabridged, meticulous and has invaluable endnotes. That is, nearly two hundred years after his tragic death fighting a duel to save the honor of the woman he loved.
On top of everything else, Erofeev is a master prose stylist, and a glimmer of his talent with the language comes across in this solid English translation.
Dating Without Kundera One of the terrors of dating is Milan Kundera, and specifically, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the sexually-transmitted book that this Czech-born author has inflicted on a generation of American youth.
I fully recognize the important role of the dating book, that is, the carefully selected work you lend a prospective lover sometime in the golden honeymoon period between your second cup of coffee together and the first time you spend a night in the same bed without touching.
Gombrowicz climbed onto an Argentina-bound liner just a few weeks before the outbreak of World War II to escape the fallout from his big literary bomb, and ended up stranded in Buenos Aires for twenty years.
During that time he and Czesław Miłosz (the Nobel prize winning poet utterly unsuitable for dating) were the twin giants of Polish literature in exile. Ferdydurke (the name comes from Sinclair Lewis's Freddy Durkee) is the story of a narrator who finds himself trapped in a series of literary clichés and does his best to use language to club his way out of them.
The book has that sexy whiff of the Eastern Bloc to it (very effective on anyone who hasn't been immunized by an actual relationship with an Eastern European), it's full of young people having complex, turgid sex with one another, and since the first sentence of the book mentions 'Nietzsche', it is ipso facto philosophical.