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Big_Slim
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398 posts

Brothers Karamazov
Anybody read dis? I'm about 30% through and just really feel like a lot of the book gets lost in translation by virtue of it being super fricking Russian. Just finished the chapter with the conversation between Alexei and Ivan which I really liked, but I guess I'm still waiting to see why so many brilliant minds consider this thing the end all be all. So I guess my question is, is the juice worth the squeeze on this one or is it hard to appreciate this book being so far removed from that culture?


TheTideMustRoll
Alabama Fan
Jacksonville, FL
Member since Dec 2009
1954 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
I didn't feel like you needed a particularly detailed knowledge of Russian history to understand the book. The questions it wrestles with are philosophical, not social.

ETA: If you are looking for a slightly more accessible introduction to Dostoevsky, try Crime and Punishment.
This post was edited on 10/6 at 7:07 am


Big_Slim
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re: Brothers Karamazov
I already took down crime and punishment. To be honest I didn't particularly enjoy that one either. I guess Dostoevsky just isn't my thing


CoachChappy
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AUveritas
Auburn Fan
Member since Aug 2013
1802 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
As a Catholic the time I first read it (I'm ironically looking to convert to Orthodoxy), I was slightly offended with the Grand Inquisitor story. However, I was able to fully appreciate the philosophical points Dostoevsky was making with TBK. The plot is just a device he uses to make his larger points about philosophy, religion and the folly of atheism.
This post was edited on 10/6 at 11:57 am


HailHailtoMichigan!
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re: Brothers Karamazov
The grand inquisitor by itself would be a classic short story/philosophical treatise.


Meursault
Member since Sep 2003
24971 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Which translation are you reading? I strongly recommend Pevear + Volokhonsky over Garnett, FWIW.


Meursault
Member since Sep 2003
24971 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
And Rebellion. That was the chapter that sort of changed my life.


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Meursault
Member since Sep 2003
24971 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Big_Slim, have you ventured into Albert Camus, by any chance?


TheTideMustRoll
Alabama Fan
Jacksonville, FL
Member since Dec 2009
1954 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
If you didn't care for Crime and Punishment, then yes. Nineteenth-century Russian literature might not be for you.


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Big_Slim
LSU Fan
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Member since Apr 2016
398 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
No but a quick Google search just told me that he was one of the "founders" of absurdism which is pretty much where I fall philosophically. Might have to check him out, any recs?


Big_Slim
LSU Fan
Classified
Member since Apr 2016
398 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Unfortunately I think I got the Garnett version. It's not bad and I get the essential ideas which are very powerful, but it's like if I wrote
a book in english and it was translated to French I imagine that all of the linguistic intricacies that define the prose in your language wouldnt carry over. With that said Count of Monte Cristo was a translation and probably some of the prettiest writing I've ever read in my life so I guess it's not always the case.

Anyway I'm rambling, I'm gonna keep plowing through this thing. I guess I was more asking for overall opinions because while I'm enjoying it, I still don't see why it is consistently ranked as one of the greatest of all time. Again only 30% through it though.


RandySavage
Auburn Fan
Member since May 2012
18639 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Am starting it tonight. Looking forward to it.


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hogfly
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville, AR
Member since May 2014
3127 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Maybe you’re more of a Tolstoy fan? I like the darkness of Dostoevsky and the philosophical and ethical heft of his work. Tolstoy is more along the lines of great English authors in really providing some great characters and cross sections of society ala George Elliot or Jane Austen.


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Meursault
Member since Sep 2003
24971 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
quote:

any recs?


The Stranger
The Myth of Sisyphus
The Plague

And if you like absurdist fiction, I also recommend Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, and The Trial, and also Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.


TheTideMustRoll
Alabama Fan
Jacksonville, FL
Member since Dec 2009
1954 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
I enjoyed Camus well enough but didn't find him particularly moving. The Kafka and Heller works that you recommended, though, should be required reading for anyone living in modern society. The Trial, in particular, captures the zeitgeist of the modern world perfectly, which is rather stunning considering it was written a century ago. Kafka was far, far ahead of his time.


Tigris
Montana Fan
Walmart Parking Lot
Member since Jul 2005
8536 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Cool, I just found that The Trial is free on Kindle so I just downloaded it and it will be my next read. And the Brothers Karamazov will be my next Audible.

The last season of Fargo opened in East Germany with a trial that was an obvious homage to The Trial. And my favorite movie is probably Brazil. So it's about time I actually read some Kafka.


TaTa Toothy
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re: Brothers Karamazov
Demons is Dostoyvesky 's most relevant work for modern times.


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Tigris
Montana Fan
Walmart Parking Lot
Member since Jul 2005
8536 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
quote:

Cool, I just found that The Trial is free on Kindle so I just downloaded it and it will be my next read.


OK, I've got to say that Kafka is not my cup of tea, at all. I did force myself to finish The Trial since it's only 130 pages. But never again.


TheTideMustRoll
Alabama Fan
Jacksonville, FL
Member since Dec 2009
1954 posts

re: Brothers Karamazov
Really? Interesting. What about his work did you not find appealing?


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