Friday, June 25, 2010

Dostoyevski for beginners

Dear internet,

If I were to go about changing the fact that I've never read any Dostoyevki, should I be starting with his Brothers Karamazov or Crime and Punishment?

Thank you.

7 comments:

Greg Fowler said...

I find Crime and Punishment to be as tough a read now as I did when I tried it for the first time when I was 10 y.o. Why? I have no idea. I just do.

I started reading Brothers Karamazov once but never made it past more than a few pages, so it'd be unfair of me to recommend one over the other.


All I can say is that C&P is worth making an effort. And you may find it easier to get through than what I do.

James Kingsley said...

thanks greg! good to know C&P is worth the effort. here's to some good summer slogging paying off!

Malcolm Johnson said...

i suggest neither until november or so. Dostoyevsky is way too depressing for summer reading.

James Kingsley said...

wow...i'm getting a lot of the "hold on for fall/winter" comments. wouldn't such heavy reading be just that much heavier amidst the chill?

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of both ... The Brothers Karamazov is on my top ten "best ever" lists. Yes, it has flaws...

1) The plot is uneven and scampery.

2) Like most Russian novels, it introduces too many characters much too quickly.

For these reasons (and more), it requires more patience than most people possess in our post-Sesame Street era (but not as much as all those deplorable English novels written during the same period).

Yet, reading the book is nothing less than a spiritual experience. We encounter 'the real' here - the fine line between sinner and saint, the ambiguity of faith and the mystery of grace.

Too epic for my two bits?

Randy

James Kingsley said...

Thanks Randy.. that's definitely closer to a toonie - but i like it! you're never too epic my friend.

James Kingsley said...

update: I went with the Brothers Karamazov. so far so good...though i'm only a sliver into it.