Results tagged “dostoevsky” from Ye Olde Rad Blog III

Started reading Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground today. Somebody wrote (in pencil) on the top of the title page (library book, I have the Pevear/Larissa translation) » Extreme feelings of the underground man: anguish, caring, inadequateness .. all of which I can easily relate to.

Notes from Underground | Dostoevsky

So, even before the first page, I became intrigued. I actually *like* books that are marked up .. to see what others have found interesting. And this one is well-marked.

Wikipedia says it's, "considered by many to be the world's first existentialist novel." Plus its main character is a writer whose entries resembles a blog. Another source claims this is the book that made Dostoevsky Dostoevsky.

The book (1864) opens with the very first sentence connected to the second by an ellipsis. I've long-used a shortened version of this technique to connect many of my own sentences. (The two-dot ellipsis.) Never saw anybody else do it, either. Just created it myself. (Which is why you won't find anybody else doing it.)

Three dots seemed too many. I tried using a semi-colon, but it felt .. awkward. (Necessity is the mother.) Maybe some day they'll give my two-dot ellipsis a name .. such as » the radicon (Radified pausing connector), as a grammatical technique to connect two thoughts with a brief, thoughtful pause.

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » Fyodor Dostoevsky Notes from Underground book 

Fyodor DostoevskyYou know you're in a bad place when you feel like reading Dostoyevsky .. as a way of commiserating with someone who can relate.

He was screwed over pretty badly. Critics claim it was these experiences that enabled him to write with such penetrating insight.

"The writer's own troubled life enabled him to portray with deep sympathy characters who are emotionally and spiritually downtrodden, and who epitomize the traditional Christian conflict between body and spirit.

Dostoyevsky sought to plumb the depths of the psyche, in order to reveal the full range of the human experience, from the basest desires to the most elevated spiritual yearnings.

Above all, he illustrated the universal human struggle to understand both God and self. Dostoyevsky was, as Katherine Mansfield wrote, a man who loved, in spite of everything, adored life, even while he knew the dank, dark places."

I've known a few dank, dark places myself. (Haven't we all?)

"Who loved in spite of..." That's not easy to do.

Even those who don't like Dostoevsky concede ungrudingly he is "a titan of world literature."

Critics seem to agree The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest novels ever written. Some even claim it is the single greatest novel -- ever. (That statement raised my eyebrows.)

  • Einstein said, "Dostoevsky gives me more than any scientist."
  • Freud called it, "The most magnificent novel ever written."


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