A lady of little faith – The Brothers Karamazov

Dostoyevsky_on_his_Bier,_Kramskoy

Dostoevsky on his bier, drawing by Ivan Kramskoi, 1881. Dostoevsky died less than four months after the publication of The Brothers Karamazov

In today’s Wednesday book quote we revisit Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. In our previous encounter we delved into the subject of wickedness and how Dostoevsky makes his villains as strong, attractive and intelligent as he possibly can. The villain on that occasion was one of the most vile literary characters father Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov.

Dostoevsky was a true intellectual because he took moral questions so seriously. Not only did he create these powerful characters but as we will see in today’s excerpt about ‘faith’, he made the arguments as magnificent as he possibly could. He empowers his characters with immense impartiality no matter their psychological state or philosophical bent. He would steel-man the opposing view until it’s the best it could be.  Today we look at a fascinating dialogue about ‘faith’ between the Elder Zosima of the local Russian Orthodox monastery (where Alyosha the younger brother serves) and a visiting lady landowner. Dostoevsky tells us ‘She was a sentimental society lady whose inclinations were in many respects genuinely good’.
This excerpt is quite long, but it’s very engaging. So get yourself a cuppa and tuck-in. I hope you find it worth your while.

Lady of little faith P1Lady of little faith P2Lady of little faith P3Lady of little faith P4Lady of little faith P5Lady of little faith P6Lady of little faith P7Lady of little faith P8Lady of little faith P9Lady of little faith P10

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Reading
6 comments on “A lady of little faith – The Brothers Karamazov
  1. badfinger20 says:

    That was an interesting read…I love the part about “The more I love humanity…”

    I seem to be a day behind you.

    • Yes, it’s illuminating. Dostoevsky for me at least gets me questioning things about myself that I never would have done on my own. I found myself having to reread sections due to their profundity. ‘Crime and Punishment’ still remains my favourite. That was like performing bypass surgery my own soul lol Staggering experience.

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