Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Brothers Karamazov

Two nights ago, I finished The Brothers Karamazov. I attempted it once before, in 2003, but gave up after 300 pages or so. The new translation by Pevera and Volokhonsky certainly helps. I suppose the work is just about everything it has been made out to be. Magnificent. I suspect I will be referring back to my underlinings from here on out--trying to get a grasp on it. The following is a favorite passage, from the teachings of Elder Zosima:

Young man, do not forget to pray. Each time you pray, if you do so sincerely, there will be the flash of a new feeling in it, and a new thought as well, one you did not know before, which will give you fresh courage; and you will understand that prayer is education. Remember also: every day and whenever you can, repeat within yourself: "Lord, have mercy upon all who come before you today." For every hour and every moment thousands of people leave their life on this earth, and their souls come before the Lord--and so many of them part with the earth in isolation, unknown to anyone, in sadness and sorrow that no one will mourn for them, or even know whether they had lived or not. And so, perhaps from the other end of the earth, your prayer for his repose will rise up to the Lord, though you did not know him at all, nor he you. How moving it is for his soul, coming in fear before the Lord, to feel at that moment that someone is praying for him, too, that there is still a human being on earth who loves him. And God, too, will look upon you both with more mercy, for if even you so pitied him, how much more will he who is infinitely more merciful and loving than you are. And he will forgive him for your sake.

8 comments:

Kirk said...

What a coincidence! I finished the Bros. K on Thursday night, too. But I started about ten months before you did. LOL!

Now on to Crime & Punishment...

--Kirk

John said...

Kirk,

Did you find that finishing TMK almost seemed like finishing a semester of college?

I think I will tackle Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita" next, then on to C&P.

Steve Hayes said...

Not on topic, but...

I've tagged you for a Thinking Blogger Award. Please go to Notes from underground: Thinking blogger award to see the links and how it works.

If (and only if) you are tagged, you should tag five other bloggers who make you think. If you've already been tagged with this meme, please let me know so I can tag someone else.

Catherine K. said...

The Brothers K. is a wonderful book, and certainly has my vote for being the best novel I've ever read - though of course, that's just my personal opinion :)

If you haven't read "The Idiot", it is well worth reading as well.

I've recently found another novel by him that I hadn't heard of before: "The Adolescent" and it is on the way.

Theron Mathis said...

John,

Please comment when you finish Bulgakov's novel. I read it and was disturbed by it, but would have enjoyed talking through it with someone else. Perhaps, I would have appreciated it more.

Theron

Kirk said...

John,

A semester of college? Yeah, you could say that.

I rarely read books twice, but I ought to go back through this one someday. If I could stay interested and pick up the pace, then maybe I could draw more out of it.

Mimi said...

I'm glad you finished it, and I really love Elder Zozima. Clearly, I need the new translation...

I've read "Master and Margarita" but it has been as long as it has been since I've read C&P.

Andrea Elizabeth said...

I'm getting closer to actually reading it for myself. My husband read it and recounted some wonderful parts to me. It's on my list after I finish the Harry Potter series, Lord have mercy on my priorities.

Hope you don't mind that I borrowed your quote the other day in my blog.