Atanu Dey On India's Development

Have you read Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot”?

| 7 Comments

The other day I was reflecting that the world has great literature and that it’s a great pity that I will probably never really get to read even a small fraction of it. I have not read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace“, for example. Those Russians, I tell you, were great authors. Take Dostoyevsky.

I hope that I will get around to reading “The Brothers Karamazov” —

. . . the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger and completed in November 1880. Dostoyevsky intended it to be the first part in an epic story titled The Life of a Great Sinner, but he died less than four months after its publication. [wiki]

As I have time to read at most one book from each of the greatest masters, I will have to give Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” a miss. Pity.

  • http://rexzilla.livejournal.com Rex

    I thought there was more about the picture above..then I looked again at the title of the post!

  • http://lifeandsomething.blogspot.com/ Gaurav

    Atanu,

    If I may be so bold I will suggest Crime and Punishment. The Brothers Karamazov is much more explicitly spiritual.

  • liam

    i suggest ‘Crime and punishment’

  • Amit

    Yet to read anything from Dostoyevsky. Right now I am busy with Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” Evolutionary biology has caught my fancy for now so I have’nt read any literature for the past many months. Hope to do so soon.

  • http://lifeandsomething.blogspot.com/ Gaurav

    Atanu, since we are talking about books, if you are interested in sci-fi I will recommend Heinlein (I am only assuming you haven’t read because I can’t find any mention of him). Some quotes (Hopefully I am not spamming)

    On Democracy

    “The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’

    ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”

    On Civilization

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”

  • http://www.deeshaa.org Atanu Dey

    Gaurav:

    Yes, I have read Heinlein. Those quotes are among my favorites on democracy.

    Just BTW, I wasn’t really looking for an opinion on Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot.” I merely used it as a front for the picture.

  • http://pravinpillai.wordpress.com/ Pravin Pillai

    Atanu,

    Big mistake, my friend! I would much rather go for “The Idiot” over “The Brothers Karamazov”. If you HAD to read only one, that is. More importantly, it would only take you half the time.