Friday, August 28, 2009

The Brothers Karamazov (9)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 1879/1880. New York: Airmont Publishing Co. 1966.

Why read it? First, it’s a mystery. Who killed Fyodor Karamazov? He deserved it. He was a tyrant. Plot: “An old profligate, Fyodor Karamazov, is murdered and his eldest son is tried and convicted for the crime; all the sons of the Karamazov family, however, each In his own way, feel complicity and the need to atone for their part in the death of the old man.” p. 7. “The ‘punishment’ that comes to each of the brothers involved in the crime against their father is self-realization.” p, 9. [Introduction. O. H. Rudzik.]

Sample quotes and ideas:

“I plead guilty to drunkenness and dissipation…to idleness and debauchery…but I am not guilty of the death of that old man, my enemy and my father.” p. 599.

The servant Grigory’s description of the scene at the dinner-table when Dmitri had burst in and beaten his father, threatening to come back to kill him, made a sinister impression on the court, especially as the old servant’s composure in telling it, his parsimony of words and peculiar phraseology were as effective as eloquence.” p. 601.

Ivan: “He [Smerdyakov] murdered him and I incited him to do it…. Who doesn’t desire his father’s death?” p. 621.

“He [Fyodor Karamazov] was an example of everything that is opposed to civic duty, of the most complete and malignant individualism” p. 630.

“…Karamazov character…capable of combining the most incongruous contradictions, and capable of the greatest heights and the greatest depths…two extremes at the same moment, or they are miserable and dissatisfied and their existence is incomplete…. Wide, wide as Mother Russia, they include everything and put up with everything.” p. 633.

“…there is an overwhelming chain of evidence against the prisoner, and at the same time not one fact that will stand criticism, if it is examined separately.” p. 656.

To be concluded.

No comments:

Post a Comment