Saturday, October 15, 2011

Note To A Friend On The Brothers Karamazov

...I hope you don't mind my occasional comment.

This novel is knocking me out even as I read it slowly at 20-40 pages a day. I'm slightly south of mid way through. I don't have many outlets for my enthusiasm.

I only wanted to note what an absolutely amazing, psychologically fluid scene it is when Ratikin takes Alyosha to meet with Grushenka just after Alyosha virtually runs from the monastery on the satisfied reaction of so many monks to Father Zossima's premature decomposition.

The constant shifts in her attitudes and behaviour, the mixture in Alyosha of spiritual and sexual arousal, the dissing of Ratikin, the tension of whether she'll go back to the officer who used her four years before are all something else.

And that shape shifting narrator, sometimes omniscient, sometimes at the limit of what he knows, and sometimes like a Greek chorus, the voice and sensibility of the community--I really have never read anything like this novel even though I've read Crime and Punishment.

Anyway thanks for lending me your ear, which I hope I repay you with a smidge of interest...

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