The Day Dostoevsky Stopped Suffering

Rad note » The text in this entry originally came from another entry. It was lifted and moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page.

At the end of this entry (that you are now reading) I have provided a link to the exact spot from where this entry originated, Here you go ...

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)» The Day Dostoevsky Stopped Suffering

By the way .. it has nothing to do with today's entry, but today (Feb 9th) is the day that Dostoevsky died (in 1881).

134 years ago.

When you are suffering, Dostoevsky feels like he is right there with you.

Like he has boldly gone beyond anything you can possibly imagine. (Because he has.)

February in St. Petersburg is probably pretty cold and nasty.

Pushkin himself (1799-1837) also died in early February (on the 10th, tomorrow) in St. Petersburg.

Of all the superlatives that I have read about Dostoevsky ..

.. probably the most impressive praise is found on the inside flap of the hardback version of the Brother Karamazov ..

.. words which come from the beginning of a sentence which reads » "Beyond Dostoevsky's towering reputation as one of a handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility..."

Think about that. Think about what is required for someone to even make such a statement about you.

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••• today's entry continues here below •••

The Brothers Karamazov (1881) Everyman's Library".. who forged the modern sensibility."

What does that even mean?

Notice, too, how the flap writer almost sets aside this towering reputation as trivial.

"Beyond the obvious, which you are so dazzled by .. I think you're missing the really cool things about his art, about his craft.

For example, he tells a really good story .. that brings you into pretty deep waters rather quickly. So buckle up."

I'm paraphrasing, of course.

The word 'sensibility' is defined » here.

The root of the word 'sensibility' contains the word » sense, which indicated perception and awareness.

So the word sensibility as used here seems to indicate that Dostoevsky » helped forge the way modern people view and perceive their modern world ..

.. which would naturally influence how they respond to it, no?

In the intro by Richard Pervear, translator of fine Russian literature, to Notes from Underground, a different book by Dostoevsky, you find the following statement describing the titular underground man »

» "one of the most remarkable characters in literature, one who has been placed among the bearers of modern consciousness alongside Don Quixote (1605), Hamlet (1602), and Faust (1806)."

Consciousness and awareness (sense) seem to be closely related, no? So maybe this is close to what they had in mind about Dostoevsky helping to "forge the modern sensibility" ..

.. and with Cervantes (1547-1616), Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Goethe (pronounced 'GUR-tuh, 1749-1832).

Czar Alexander I of Russia (ruled 1801-1825) Bow low, you peasantI think that anybody would be honored to have their words still speaking 134 years later.

This is the guy, btw, who was czar when Dostoevsky was born (in 1821). Nice horse.

To render some historical perspective to Alexander I, note that Catherine the Great ruled only 5 years before the beginning of Alexander's rule (in 1801).

The czar who succeeded Alexander » Nicholas I (1825-1855 reign) .. he is the one who sent Dostoevsky to Siberia.

Russia has had czars all the way up to March of 1917. (Less than 100 years ago.) With Nicholas II.

It was Lenin's time, then.

All of these czars were part of the House of Romanov .. which began its reign way back in 1613.

Does not this remarkable longevity .. of Dostoevsky's writings .. his words .. does this not evoke for you a suggestion of divine words?

In a pattern-matching sort of way.

The kind of staying power that spans the centuries.

I wrote some more about Dostoevsky in March, 2014 .. see here » Still on the Trail of Dostoevsky ..

.. which I should probably also move out to its own page. Like I did with this entry (.. that you're reading now).

More unrelated stuff .. here is another article that I found interesting, titled » What Would Jesus Do About Measles? Much thoughtful debate fills this topic.

» The end. ■

You can return to the exact spot from which the text in this entry originated .. see » here.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on February 9, 2015 2:09 AM.

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