Dostoevsky

RWY

Well-known member
Think it's time he had his own thread. What has everyone read so far? What lessons did you learn from him? And what, if anything, do you think he got wrong?

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RWY

Well-known member
"With Vasily Perov’s 1872 portrait, suddenly here we are, face to face with Dostoevsky: he crouches low on the canvas, his thin frame huddled in a great brown overcoat, his gaze withdrawn and distant, his fingers tightly laced. As the light shines on his boyish forehead, his wispy hair and beard and withdrawn gaze, the sense of exhaustion yet inner focus is haunting. He had been living in hardship for thirty years, ever since his arrest as a twenty-eight-year-old in 1849 for being a member of the radical Petrashevsky Circle, an event that had doomed him to Siberian labor camp and forced army service, to damaged health and wounded spirits. Yet he had continued writing, his will unbroken."
 

version

Well-known member
I read Notes from Underground years and years ago, can't really remember it and that's all I've read of him. This is supposedly him without the beard though,

 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah I read notes from underground cos it's the one bukowski recommends but demons is way better
 

catalog

Well-known member
I can't actually contribute much to this thread, except to say that the office clip seems to suggest the raw youth goes over similar themes as demons ie science can never captivate us, therefore socialism is not possible.

What I like about him is that he changed his mind, is that right? And like any convert, became fully committed to what he changed his mind about.

He was a piss taker extraordinaire, one of thd main set pieces in demons concerns a literary festival where speakers are arranged and he's basically massively sending up his contemporaries.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I read The Idiot when on holiday in Lanzarote in Christmas 2017.

I quite liked the scale of it and the atmosphere and double dealing. (I got more out of Gogol's Dead Souls though.)

People who know more about this can shoot me down, but there is a gentle mocking of polite society that you also get with Jane Austen. Which can seem a bit trite and smug by today's standards but was probably quite subversive then, or maybe as subversive as you could be within polite society. So it is good but very restricted.

Taking the piss out of nihilsts is good, he gets points for that.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
read all of them when i was 5. except demons. never read that one.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Notes From Underground was the first one I read. A lot of things about that book have stuck with me. Perversity and acting against 'one's' best interests as an essential human trait. something to be celebrated, even/especially when it is the only tnhing standing between us and the Palace of Crystal.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
The Idiot I read around the same time I read Quixote and seemed to be about the same character type, The Christ born out of phase, the magic doesnt work, the imagination doesnt recast reality but is broken against it. the havoc that being 'good' or 'pure' causes in a society built on different predicates and expecations. The same essential asexuality and courtliness. dont touch me. again wreaking havoc.
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version

Well-known member
I have The Idiot here. Maybe I'll finally read it this year. I've got two copies of Brothers Karamazov too and The Double is in the same volume as Notes from Underground.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
crime and punishment for the inadequacy of ideas. how the idea can carry you as far as the act and its execution but not past that point, wrecked by the repercussions of it. the idea, this is in karamavoz too, the very rational idea which hasnt reckoned with the emotions etc and ruins the man
 

luka

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Staff member
this 'stuff' from Dostoyevsky was one of the things which made me think Mark was wrong about everything.
 
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version

Well-known member
Nabokov on Dostoyevsky,

Dislike him. A cheap sensationalist, clumsy and vulgar. A prophet, a claptrap journalist and a slapdash comedian. Some of his scenes are extraordinarily amusing. Nobody takes his reactionary journalism seriously.
  • The Double. His best work, though an obvious and shameless imitation of Gogol's "Nose."
  • The Brothers Karamazov. Dislike it intensely.
  • Crime and Punishment. Dislike it intensely. Ghastly rigmarole.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i mean, also i like it very much, in a way its not possible to like theory which will always feel like an irritating show off game for brainiacs. its fun and its full of energy and life and its nutty and over the top. all those hysterical women. Russia must have been mental in those days, all the women were always causing a scene.
 
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