June 07, 2007
LAST CALL FOR DOSTOEVSKY
Caption: The butler did it. This man is now portraying Smerdyakov, possible illegitimate son and murderer of Fyodor Karamazov. Note the leash with which he will later hang himself.
OK, this is it. I mean it. After today, I vow to go a really long time before reading by or writing anything else about Dostoevsky.
To wrap up, I cobbled together some quotes about him, courtesy of FyodorDostoevsky.com (what would he think of that?).
As you might imagine, he's been called lots of things, ranging from
"Russia's evil genius" to "...the Shakespeare of the lunatic asylum." The Russian novelist Turgenev called him "...the nastiest Christian I've ever met".
I think the Shakespeare one nailed it.
Henry Miller said "Dostoevsky was human in that 'all too human' sense of Nietzsche. He wrings our withers when he unrolls his scroll of life." and "Dostoevsky is chaos and fecundity. Humanity, with him, is but a vortex in the bubbling maelstrom."
Joseph Conrad said The Brothers Karamazov was "... an impossible lump of valuable matter. It's terrifically bad and impressive and exasperating. Moreover, I don't know what Dostoevsky stands for or reveals, but I do know that he is too Russian for me. It sounds like some fierce mouthings of prehistoric ages." Conrad knew a thing or two about impossible lumps...
According to Nietzsche, he was"...the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn." That explains a lot.
Einstein said "Dostoevsky gives me more than any scientist, more than Gauss." Holy speed of light in a vacuum, Batman!
The Russian theologian and philosopher Nikolay Berdyaev said "So great is the worth of Dostoevsky that to have produced him is by itself sufficient justification for the existence of the Russian people in the world: and he will bear witness for his country-men at the last judgement of the nations."
I think I'm done now.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED