Thoughts on The Brothers Karamazov
by Sheila Path McMahon
I’m reading The Brothers Karamazov because one of my students is reading it. I have made a couple of half-hearted stabs at it before, probably to the tune of one or two pages. It didn’t seem like the kind of book that I could get in to. Nor did it seem that anyone I know has read it; I’ve read the chapter that refers to Plato’s (?) Allegory of the Cave in a few different English classes, but I’ve never been assigned further reading than that. I am finding it inspiring. No, not just inspiring, awe-inspiring.
I think it’s at just the right time in my life, too. As you know if you’ve been reading my blog, I’ve been an atheist since I was about 17. I’m 36 now, and the eldest of 3 siblings. Obviously we are not 3 brothers. But close enough. The novel deals with the fact that the siblings have very different beliefs, as far apart as being atheist to being a monk! And it’s a very humorous book, at least so far. I’m really not that far, probably page 60 out of 800, but I have been chuckling a lot as I’ve read.
It’s the right time of my life because I feel that a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to take characters like the Elder of the Church seriously. Maybe I would have been able to, I don’t know since I never gave it a chance before.
I really shouldn’t be so surprised that I love TBK , since Crime and Punishment was my favorite book for a long time. Now I think my favorite book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. At least until I finish reading TBK…maybe.
Gee. Now I feel like I should take that whole paragraph back. How can people even have favorite books? I only thought of the Wind-Up Bird because it’s sitting right there in plain sight and I really did love it as I read, but I love a lot of other books, too. They’re just out of sight, out of mind. Oh, and not to mention Jay’s books, which are destined to be my favorites once they are done.
So maybe I should just say that I don’t have any favorite books. I am very impressionable, and I am enjoying reading the brothers karamazov, and when I am done with that I will undoubtedly move on to another book that I love equally as well. It doesn’t hurt anyone to be promiscuous in my literary tastes, does it? It’s just sort of embarassing when I’ve read a book and then forget, and the next time I pick that book up it totally notices when I suddenly recognize that I’ve read it before…but that’s my problem. 🙂
Well, I think that’s all I have this morning. I apologize if you were acrually looking for any insight into the brothers beyond the fact that I find it inspiring. Maybe if you leave a comment with your thoughts, I’ll write more about it. Until then, I probably won’t. Have a warm and comfortable day. Sheila