Interesting Dostoevsky Comment

Here’s an interesting comment on a post about Dostoevsky at Theology Forum. READ MORE

I have been an avid but until now silent participant-but the crux of my own faith has most often been encountered in Dostoevsky in some sense throughout the years of it. I even went to Petersburg a couple of years ago mostly just to visit his old haunts and pay homage to Fyodor Mikhailovich.

All that to say, Williams’ book is fantastic, even in the flowing style he writes in, sliding along from one spot to another. Arthur Trace’s The Furnace Of Doubt was a great work on seeing faith strongest on the other side of socio-theological or philosohpical-skepticism kinds of doubt. Much comes from this discussion, as if Ivan K. were to find faith of a sort.

The Gospel In Dostoevsky (ed. The Bruderhof) is a good reader on “gospel moments” in D.’s work. Gibson’s The Religion Of Dostoevsky (referenced some by the Archbishop), and George Panichas’ Dostoevsky’s Spiritual Art are also good, and pretty concise meditations.

One thing you may already be on top of, but just to suggest, is to read Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear’s translations of the major works, they are the newest, and hold a lot of verbal energy that sometimes goes missing in Constance Garnett’s otherwise classic translations.

Thanks for all of your writing and sharing on this blog.

I went to Sils to more or less do the same thing regarding Nietzsche a while back. I see N as the fifth Karamazov brother.

dostoevsky, karamazov, nietzsche

Nietzsche: The Fifth Karamazov Brother

It is unlikely that Nietzsche ever read Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, though he did praise lavishly the Russian author’s “Underground Man” and allowed that the writer was a psychologist worthy of his attention.

To one steeped in Dostoevsky and familiar with Nietzsche’s own ambivalent certitudes, it is not hard to link him to this family of 19th Century fictional archetypes — all wrestling with the implications of a world that is in the process of rejecting God.

The four Karamazov Brothers — children of the insidious buffoon Fyodor — are:

Dmitri, the eldest who might qualify as a life-affirmer in Nietzsche’s terms,

Ivan, the tormented intellectual who is stretched out on the rack of the very morality Nietzsche is at pains to excoriate,

Alyosha, the saintly secular monk Dostoevsky hopes will carry human destiny forward, and:

Smerdyakov, the imitative imbecile who infers the homicidal urges of his brothers and acts them out in the parricide that is the novel’s principal crime.

Nietzsche, is the fifth Karamazov — Like Ivan he has passed through Dostoevsky’s furnace of doubt — but gone even farther than the tormented Ivan.