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Brothers Karamazov

Brothers Karamazov [Format Kindle]

Fyodor Dostoevsky , Konstantin Mochulsky , Andrew R. MacAndrew
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Descriptions du produit




ALexei Fyodorovich Karamazov was the third son of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, a landowner in our district who became a celebrity (and is remembered to this day) because of the tragic and mysterious end he met exactly thirteen years ago, which will be described in its proper place. For the moment, I will only say of this "landowner" (as they referred to him here, although he spent hardly any time on his land) that he belonged to a peculiar though widespread human type, the sort of man who is not only wretched and depraved but also muddle-headed--muddle-headed in a way that allows him to pull off all sorts of shady little financial deals and not much else.

Fyodor Karamazov, for instance, started with next to nothing; he was just about the lowliest landowner among us, a man who would dash off to dine at other people's tables whenever he was given a chance and who sponged off people as much as he could. Yet, at his death, they found that he had a hundred thousand rubles in hard cash. And with all that, throughout his life he remained one of the most muddle-headed eccentrics in our entire district. Let me repeat: it was not stupidity, for most such eccentrics are really quite intelligent and cunning, and their lack of common sense is of a special kind, a national variety.

He had been married twice and had three sons--the eldest, Dmitry, by his first wife, and the other two, Ivan and Alexei, by the second.

Fyodor Karamazov's first wife came from a fairly wealthy family of landed gentry--the Miusovs--also from our district. Why should a girl with a dowry, a beautiful girl moreover, one of those bright, clever young things who in this generation are no longer rare and who even cropped up occasionally in the last--why should she marry such a worthless "freak," as they called him? I will not really attempt to explain. But, then, I once knew a young lady of the old, "romantic" generation who, after several years of secret love for a gentleman whom, please note, she could have peacefully married at any moment she chose, invented insurmountable obstacles for herself and, one stormy night, jumped from a steep, rather cliff-like bank into a fairly deep, rapid river and drowned, all because she fancied herself an Ophelia out of Shakespeare. Indeed, if the bank, on which she had had her eye for a long time, had been less picturesque or had there simply been a flat bank, it is conceivable that the suicide would never have taken place at all. This is a true story, and it must be assumed that in the past two or three generations quite a few similar incidents have occurred. In the same way, what Adelaida Miusov did was undoubtedly an echo of outside influences and also the act of exasperation of a captive mind. Perhaps she was trying to display feminine independence, to rebel against social conventions, against the despotism of her family and relatives, while her ready imagination convinced her, if only for a moment, that Fyodor Karamazov, despite his reputation as a sponger, was nevertheless one of the boldest and most caustic men of that "period of transition toward better things," whereas in reality he was nothing but a nasty buffoon. The fact that the marriage plans included elopement added piquancy to it, making it more exciting for Adelaida. Fyodor, at that time, would, of course, have done anything to improve his lowly position, and the opportunity to latch on to a good family and to pocket a dowry was extremely tempting to him. As for love, there does not seem to have been any, either on the bride's part or, despite her beauty, on Karamazov's. This was perhaps a unique case in Fyodor Karamazov's life, for he was as sensual as a man can be, one who throughout his life was always prepared, at the slightest encouragement, to chase any skirt. But his wife just happened to be the one woman who did not appeal to him sensually in the least.

Right after the elopement, Adelaida realized that she felt nothing but scorn for her husband. It quickly became obvious what married life was to be. Despite the fact that her family accepted the situation quite soon and gave the runaway bride her dowry, relations between husband and wife became an everlasting succession of quarrels. It was rumored that, in these quarrels, the young wife displayed incomparably more dignity and generosity than her husband, who, it was found out later, soon wheedled out of her every kopek of the twenty-five thousand rubles she had received, so that, as far as she was concerned, those thousands were sunk in deep waters never to be salvaged again. As to the little country estate and the quite decent town house that were also part of her dowry, he kept trying desperately to have them transferred to his name by some suitable deed; he probably would have succeeded because of the loathing and disgust his constant pleading and begging inspired in his wife, because she would do anything to have peace, sick and tired as she was of him; but luckily Adelaida's family intervened in time to put a stop to his greed.

People knew that husband and wife often came to actual blows and rumor had it that it was she who beat him, rather than he her. Indeed, Adelaida was a hot-tempered, bold, dark, and impatient lady endowed with remarkable physical strength.

Finally she eloped with a half-starved tutor, a former divinity student, leaving her husband with their three-year-old boy, Mitya.

Fyodor Karamazov immediately installed a regular harem in the house and indulged in the most scandalous drunken debauchery. But between one orgy and the next, he would drive all over the province complaining tearfully to all and sundry of Adelaida's desertion, and revealing on these occasions certain unsavory intimate details of their conjugal life that any other husband would have been ashamed to mention. He even seemed to enjoy--indeed, to feel flattered by--his ridiculous role as a cuckolded husband, for he insisted on describing his own disgrace in minute detail, even embellishing on it. "Why, Fyodor Pavlovich," people remarked, "you act as if an honor had been bestowed upon you. You seem pleased despite your sorrow." Many even added that he was delighted to have the role of clown thrust upon him, that he only pretended to be unaware of his ridiculous position in order to make it even funnier. But who can really tell? Possibly he was quite ingenuous about it all.

He finally succeeded in getting on the track of his runaway wife. It led to Petersburg where the poor thing had moved with her divinity student and where she had abandoned herself to a life of complete emancipation. Fyodor Karamazov immediately busied himself with preparations for the journey to Petersburg, and perhaps he would have gone, although he certainly had no idea what he would do there. But once he had decided to go, he felt that he had a special reason for plunging into a bout of unrestrained drunkenness--to fortify himself for the journey. And just at that time his in-laws received word that Adelaida had died in Petersburg. She died suddenly, in a garret, of typhus according to some, of starvation according to others. Karamazov was drunk when he learned of his wife's death, and some say he exclaimed joyfully, raising his hands to heaven: "Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace." But according to others, he wept, sobbing like a little boy so that people felt sorry for him despite the disgust he aroused in them. It is quite possible that they all were right, that he rejoiced in his regained freedom and wept for the woman from whom he had been freed, both at once. In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too.



It is, of course, easy to imagine what sort of a father such a man would be, how he would bring up his children. And he lived up to expectation: he completely and thoroughly neglected his child by Adelaida. He did not do so out of any deliberate malice or resentment toward the child's mother, but simply because he forgot all about the little boy. And while he was pestering people with his tears and self-pitying stories, while he was turning his home into a house of debauchery, a faithful servant of the household, Gregory, took the three-year-old Mitya into his care. If it hadn't been for Gregory, there would have been no one to change the boy's shirt. Moreover, it so happened that the child's relations on his mother's side had also, at first, forgotten his existence. Mitya's grandfather, that is, Adelaida's father, Mr. Miusov, was no longer alive; his widow, Mitya's grandmother, had moved to Moscow and was in very poor health; and, in the meantime, Adelaida's sisters had married and moved away. So Mitya spent almost a year in Gregory's little house in the servants' quarters. And, even if his father had occasionally remembered him (he could not, after all, have been completely unaware of the child's existence), Karamazov would have sent his son back to the servants' quarters anyway, because a child would have been in the way during the orgies.

But one day a first cousin of Adelaida's returned from Paris. Peter Miusov, who was later to settle abroad permanently, was at that time still a young man, but he was already an exception among the Miusovs: he was an enlightened, big-city gentleman, glittering with foreign polish, a European through and through who, later in life, was to become a typical liberal of the 1840's and 1850's. In the course of his life, he came in contact with some of the most liberal minds of his era, both in Russia and abroad. He met Proudhon personally, as well as Bakunin, and, toward the end of his wanderings, liked best to tell of his experiences during the three days of the February Revolution of 1848 which he had witnessed in Paris, implying that he himself had taken part in it, just short, perhaps, of manning the barricades. This was one of the most gratifying recollections of his youth. He was a man of independent means, with an income from an estate of a thousand-odd souls, as property was evaluated in the old days. That splendid estate was located just outside our town and bordered on the lands of our famous monastery. No sooner had young Peter Miusov taken possession of his estate than he started an endless lawsuit against the monastery. It was something about fishing privileges or wood-cutting rights, I'm not sure which, but he felt that in suing "clericals" he was doing his duty as a citizen and an enlightened man.

When Miusov heard what had happened to Adelaida, whom he, of course, remembered, having even, at one time, taken a special interest in her, and when he learned of Mitya's plight, he decided to intervene, although that involved approaching Karamazov, whom Miusov loathed and despised with all the ardor of youth. This was the first time that he met Fyodor Karamazov; he told him point blank that he wished to take the boy and be responsible for his education. Later, he liked to tell at length what had happened at that meeting, because he felt it revealed a great deal about Karamazov's character. When Miusov first broached the subject of Mitya, the fellow stared at him blankly, as though he could not understand what child Miusov was talking about, and he seemed positively taken aback when reminded that he had a young son. And although Miusov's story may have been exaggerated, there was certainly an element of truth in it. It is a fact that all his life Karamazov liked to act the fool and assume all sorts of surprising roles; he would do so even when he had nothing to gain, indeed, even when it could be positively to his disadvantage, as in this instance. This is a quirk found in many people, even very clever ones, let alone the likes of Fyodor Karamazov.

Miusov at first went about the matter with some zest, and was even appointed Mitya's guardian (jointly with Karamazov), since the boy had, after all, the small estate and the town house coming to him as his inheritance from his mother. And he moved the boy to his house. But, not being tied down by a family of his own, just as soon as he had wound up his business in our town, which consisted of collecting the revenue from his estate, he went dashing off to Paris for a long stay. He left the boy in the care of a relative of his, a lady who lived in Moscow. Miusov settled in Paris for good and lost sight of Mitya, his interest in the boy petering out completely after the February Revolution, which made such an ineradicable impression on him. In the meantime, the Moscow lady died and Mitya passed into the care of one of her married daughters. I believe he had to change homes for a fourth time soon afterward. I won't expand on this topic here since I will have a great deal to say later about this first-born son of Fyodor Karamazov's, but I must supply a few facts right away, without which I could not even begin my novel.

First of all, Mitya--that is, Dmitry Fyodorovich Karamazov--was the only one of Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov's sons who grew up under the impression that, however hard up he might be, he would, when he came of age, come into his inheritance from his mother and that he would then be financially independent. He was unruly as a boy and as a young man. He dropped out of the classical secondary school, but later was admitted to military school. From there he was sent on active duty with an army unit in the Caucasus, where he was given an officer's commission in the field. He was soon demoted to the ranks for fighting a duel, only to be restored to his rank again for gallantry. After this he led a wild, gay life that cost a good deal of money. Since, until he came of age, he never received a single kopek from his father, he was deep in debt by the time that day arrived. He only met and got to know the old man when he came to our town to demand an accounting of the estate left him by his mother. It would appear that, even then, Dmitry took a dislike to his father. He stayed at the paternal house only a short time, leaving as soon as he had managed to get a very small sum from the old man, together with some vague agreement about sending him the revenue from his estate. It must be noted here that on this occasion Dmitry failed to find out from his father what the total worth of his estate was or what income it yielded. Karamazov discovered right away (and this must be noted too) that his son had an erroneous and exaggerated notion of his inheritance, and this discovery pleased him for it fitted in with his own schemes. He realized that the young man was irresponsible, violent, passionate, unruly, impatient, and that he couldn't wait to satisfy all his whims and impulses. And Karamazov now knew how to handle Dmitry: the fellow could always be placated, at least temporarily, with small handouts. Karamazov proceeded immediately to exploit his son's weakness, putting him off with small sums. This went on for four years until, finally, Dmitry lost patience. He made a second appearance in town, this time to force on his father a final settlement of their accounts. He was quite stunned to hear from Karamazov that he had already received, in the many installments, a sum amounting to the value of his estate, that, if anything, it was he who was now in debt to his father, and that, moreover, in view of such and such an agreement which he himself had insisted upon at one point, he had renounced all further claims, etc., etc. The young man was dumbfounded, accused his father of cheating him, and acted as if he would go out of his mind.

Revue de presse

“[Dostoevsky is] at once the most literary and compulsively readable of novelists we continue to regard as great . . . The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of his art–his last, longest, richest, and most capacious book. [This] scrupulous rendition can only be welcomed. It returns us to a work we thought we knew, subtly altered and so made new again.” –Washington Post Book World

“A miracle . . . Every page of the new Karamazov is a permanent standard, and an inspiration.” –The Times (London)

“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review

“Absolutely faithful . . . Fulfills in remarkable measure most of the criteria for an ideal translation . . . The stylistic accuracy and versatility of registers used . . . bring out the richness and depth of the original in a way similar to a faithful and sensitive restoration of a painting.” –The Independent

“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now–and through the medium of [this] new translation–beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” –New York Review of Books

“Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as it is possible.” –Joseph Frank, Princeton University

With an Introduction by Malcolm V. Jones

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1515 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 1072 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0553212168
  • Editeur : Bantam Classics; Édition : Reissue (4 novembre 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 An all time classic 14 décembre 2013
Par John T C
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, which is one of Dostoyevsky's all time best, perhaps the best, adds to make him perhaps the best writer of all times. The author came up with so many great ideas and characters that are so real to life even in their complex emotions and rationales that we relate to the characters as if we are in their heads. In the end, not only do we have a great story, we are also left with a beautifully written work of political, psychological, sociological, ethical and psychological thought that is very true not only to Russia, but to other lands and peoples as well.

The greatest soul writer of all times and great contributor to human psychology successfully created a beautiful and amazing dynamism between the Karamazov brothers that has been the core of many stories after involving siblings. There is the unreliable father, the old Fyodor Karamazov whose life dominates his sons and whose death casts a huge shadow on their future.

Sensual Alyosha who is the youngest of the Karamazov brothers is the main character of the story, and he is noted for his strong faith in god and humanity, deep kindness and sense of sacrifice.
Ivan the atheist has a sharp mind and is the critical analyzer who seeks for meaning in everything. He is skeptical and dwells more on rationale in his dealing with people and issues. In the end, his intellectual mind misleads him and opens the doors to the nightmares in his life.
Dmitry is the sensitive brother who has a strong consideration for anything living, Smerdyakov their half-brother, is the cunning illegitimate son of old Fyodor Karamazov and works as Fyodor's servant.
Lire la suite ›
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156 internautes sur 163 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most important book I've ever read. 21 février 2000
Par Adam Roberts - Publié sur
In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, Rosewater tells Billy Pilgrim that "everything there [is] to know about life [is] in The Brothers Karamazov, by Feodor Dostoevsky."
And so, I took Rosewater to heart, and after finishing Slaughterhouse over my winter break, I went to the library and took out the intimidatingly old and terribly thick translation of The Brothers Karamazov. I sat down on my bed at home and opened it, and thought to myself, "Let's read the first page, and see if I can make sense of it."
The first page, is in fact, a message from the author and it addresses the same question (more or less) that I was asking myself as I began to read:
"Starting out on the biography of my hero, Alexi Fyodorovich Karamazov, I find myself in some perplexity. Namely, that while I do call Alexi Fyodorovich my hero, still, I myself know that he is by no means a great man, so that I can foresee the inevitable questions, such as: What is notable about your Alexei Fyodorovich that you should choose him for your hero? What has he really done? To whom is he known, and for what? Why should I, the reader, spend my time studying the facts of his life?"
It is that last question-why anyone should want to spend time studying the facts of his life (and, on a side note, I recently read a Dave Barry column where he asks, "Has anyone actually finished The Brothers Karamazov?") that I am here to sell you on.
I can say now, even though I literally just finished it, with some degree of certainty, that The Brothers Karamazov is the most important book that I have ever read. It has very much changed me-and my perception of the world. I will go back to it, throughout my life, and reread many of its passages. I will forever remember-whether consciously or unconsciously-its characters, its moments, and its apparent meanings.
I am here to tell you, though, that you-yes you-are very much capable of reading The Brothers Karamazov. I was the one in high school who read the Cliff's Notes for The Scarlet Letter and for Dostoyevski's own Crime and Punishment. If you asked me then, and in fact if you asked me only a few months ago, if I thought I might ever read The Brothers Karamazov for pleasure, I would have laughed. And yet I did just exactly that, reading the first 100 pages from the library, and then going out and purchasing my own copy-because I knew after those first 100 pages that I could, and that I would, finish.
And now a short note on translation: the library book that I began with was, indeed, readable, but the book that I eventually bought was a new translation that came out in 1991. Critics praise this translation on the front and back covers; the New York Times writes, "One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoyevsky's original." And since I read the first 100 pages from an older translation, I can agree with the NYT that this translation is far superior. [And for those who plan on tackling this book, it's a pink and white copy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.]
And now on to the book itself. I would say that this book works on two levels: on one level it is a mystery/thriller/love story/drama (all on one level) that is exciting for its plot and its suspense. The other level, though, is the spiritual level-a level that justifies the presence of the seemingly (in retrospect) unimportant characters of Zossima the Elder and Ilyushenka, the poor little boy who gets sick after his father is publicly humiliated. These characters don't affect, really, the plot of the book-although they both play important roles. They are, though, there for very different reasons-and they are for me the most important characters in the book.
In conclusion, (and yet I feel like I could write so much more), read The Brothers Karamazov because we view the world constantly through a filter-a filter of consciousness-and this book will reshape and reconfigure your filter. It's like a spiritual tune-up. It will lead to deep introspection, it will comfort you, it will disturb you, and most of all it will better you. As the elder Zossima tells Alyosha, "you will bless life and cause others to bless it-which is the most important thing."
152 internautes sur 159 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 get the Andrew MacAndrew translation 19 août 2005
Par Caraculiambro - Publié sur
Andrew MacAndrew's translation of the "Brothers Karamazov" (1970; the one that's been used for the past couple of decades for the Bantam paperback) is, I submit, far and away the best that has been done into English since Dostoevsky's book was published in about 1880. It reads naturally and does not contain too much slang. The most impressive translation of Dostoevsky into English I've come across is Jesse Coulson's "Crime and Punishment." It's simply astonishing, but he never did "The Brothers Karamazov."


* The translation by Constance Garnett (many editions): Avoid it! High-toned and dense. Will make reading "The Brothers Karamazov" far more difficult than it has to be. People who are into Dostoevsky really detest this translation: it's tough going: stale and stuffy throughout. When will this thing die? I'm guessing this is the translation used for so many cheap editions (e.g., Wordsworth Classics, Dover Thrift Editions, Penguin Popular Classics, etc.) because it's public domain by this point and the publishers don't have to pay anybody.

* The Pevear and Volokhonsky version (ISBN: 0374528373). Several scholars of Dostoevsky have come out saying this is the "most faithful" translation to date, as the book's jacket does not neglect to point out. However, other equally well-respected scholars have complained that it is breezy and inaccurate.

* The David MacDuff job (Penguin, ISBN: 0140449248). Serviceable but not sparkling. Also a bit slangy. It does, however, do a great job with the footnotes.

* The Ignat Avsey effort (This is the one used by the Oxford World Classics: ISBN: 0192835092). I confess to never having negotiated this particular one, and can only warn you that it, like Garnett's above, is British English. I have it on my shelf, though. The one advantage I can see in this edition is that it, more than any of the others, has additional stuff to help you with the reading: introduction, Dostoevsky chronology, list of characters, etc. but mainly a long section of EXPLANATORY NOTES at the back, which are keyed to the text via asterisks you find as you're reading. Thus Avsey offers the best footnotes of any of these editions, although this is not one of those texts where that's gonna be a big deal.

* The David Magarshack translation. Haven't read it. Sorry.

* There is another edition I'm aware of: The translation by Louis Hechenbleikner and the Princess Alexandra Kropotkin, which first came out in 1949 and for which W. Somerset Maugham wrote the introduction. The translation has a fair reputation, but the problem is that it is so thoroughly out of print that you'd probably have to search through rare book shops to find it.

Bottom line: MacAndrew's read most swiftly and naturally for me. It's like you're not even reading something that has been translated!

(Note that Amazon's page on the MacAndrew edition The Brothers Karamazov (Bantam Classics) gives the impression, at least in declaring that the book is "by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Konstantin Mochulsky" that Konstantin Mochulski is the translator. Not the case: Mochulsky merely wrote the 10-page introduction. The translator is still Andrew MacAndrew.)

Anyhow. Happy reading, folks!
34 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Boldly sums things up 14 août 2000
Par C. Colt - Publié sur
"The Brothers Karamazov" is an ethical compendium and certainly one of the greatest novels ever written. Other reviewers have done a better job than I could of summarizing the complexly layered plot and symbolic nature of the characters. I might depart from them a bit by suggesting that each of the brothers is confined to a specific role and might be viewed as a prisoner of sorts.
The radical, revolutionary brother Ivan is a prisoner of his intellect. His essay on "The Grand Inquisitor" is the second of his two-part assault on his brother Aleosha's belief in Christ. Dimity, the lover of women and eruptive speaker is a prisoner of his passion. Aleosha, who worships his spiritual mentor, Father Zosima is a prisoner of his faith, while Smerdyakov, the ill begotten son of Fyodor Karamazov and a street woman is a prisoner of his circumstances. Each brother is a unique and integral component of the human condition.
But a novel cannot work through symbolism and personification alone. Like Tolstoi's `War and Peace" this book is also a series of essays. The chapter in which Father Zosima discovers his faith on the evening before his is supposed fight a duel is an essay of courage and integrity that far outstrips any thing written by "macho" authors such as Hemingway and Camus. In this chapter, Zosima is a carousing young military officer who discovers his faith in God on the evening before he is to fight a duel. This puts Zosima in a quandary since his faith now prevents him from killing another human being but he still does not want to appear a coward. Zosima solves this problem by offering his opponent the first shot. When his opponent misses, Zosima declines to take his shot. Instead he throws away his pistol and asks "am I worth it?" Zosima has transcended his ego and followed his conscience while still preserving his honor. This brief, action packed chapter summarizes the complexity of spiritual evolution. Zosima's faith does not give him an easy way out or solve all of his problems. He must still deal with the consequences of his previous actions even after discovering God. Faith in his case is hardly a narcotic.
The Grand Inquisitor chapter on the other hand clearly separates the sort of faith experienced by Father Zosima from the more cynical manifestations of organized religion. In this chapter Ivan tells Aleosha a story about Christ returning to Earth during the height of the Spanish Inquisition. Christ is arrested and brought before the Grand Inquisitor who clearly recognizes Him for who and what He is. Far from fearing or rejoicing in Christ's presence, the Grand Inquisitor threatens to try him for heresy and burn him. Since the Grand Inquisitor is primarily interested in the power and authority he derives from his position, the last thing he wants is a true believer let alone Christ himself to appear on the scene. The Grand Inquisitor tries to bate Christ into rebutting him, but Christ's silence frustrates him and eventually the Grand Inquisitor releases him.
From these brief descriptions, one can hopefully grasp the range of this work as a novel of ideas and a panoramic essay on the nature of faith and the human condition. In illuminating the struggles born by every human being in their physical and spiritual lives, Dostoevsky offers no easy solution. Dostoevsky's emphasis on the silent, invisible nature of courage and the folly of institutionalized belief make him the spiritual father of thinkers such as Nietze and Sartre. The ideas this book illuminates and questions it raises are universal and relevant to this day.
33 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 One day I will understand it all - a book for thinkers 30 août 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
I read this book in a bit of a hurry about three years ago, and regret doing it that way. This is because it did not end up being the profound read that many of my friends said it was. In fact, I would go so far as to venture that Dostoevsky is not completely, or at least easily, accessible to people without a background in literature. It's not an impossible task though, and during the past three years I have found myself appreciating this masterwork more and more.
In fact, some parts of the book are breathtaking. Some basic, blunt, questions about life are asked and then answered. You may or may not like Dostoevsky's worldview, but you have to admit that he does make you think. For example, how many Christians have ever asked: "What if I die, and find out, after a lifetime of believing, that there's nothing, nothing, after death?" This question is asked and answered in the book, as are so many others that so many of us are afraid to ask.
Even if you don't have the patience to slog through the 700+ pages of the novel, at least borrow a copy from someone and read the chapter entitled 'The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor.' You cannot call yourself truly read until you have gone through these 20 or so pages that are possibly the greatest ever written in literature.
A last word of warning. If you do get the Bantam Classic version of this novel (i.e. the one with the purple cover), do NOT read the critique beforehand! Like many critiques, the writer feels obligated to give away the plot ahead of time. In this case, it is the name of the character who commits the murder. Since the book is really more about philosophy than plot, this ruined what little plot there was for me. The critique is a good one though, and should be read after the novel itself.
All said, I still highly recommend this book to anyone searching for either a good read or the meaning of life. Just make sure you are in a quiet place where you can really think!
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Possibly the most profound book ever 5 juillet 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Although some may be intimidated by this book's prodigious length and status as a "classic," I implore everyone to read this novel. As simply a story, the Brothers K is an enthralling tale of murder and deception among 4 brothers and their despicable father set in pre-Revolutionary Russia. But Dostoevsky's attention to detail, use of language, and character development are what make this work literature. However the Brothers K's unparalleled status originates from the astonishingly insightful questions it raises about the nature of man and God. I consider myself relatively well-read, but in my experience, never has another work of literature speculated on the human condition in a fashion so sublime. If you are still hesitant about reading this book, then read the chapters "Rebellion" followed by "The Grand Inquisitor" (the most famous chapter in any novel) and I'm sure your reservations will vanish. I must say I believe the Brothers K is the most profound novel ever written and to me, it speaks great truths.
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