Category Archives: Dostoevsky (Fyodor)

Top 10 Hellish Child-Parent Relationships

Top 10 Literary Parent-Child Relationships from Hell.

Also posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Lawrence (D. H.), O'Connor (Flannery), Plath (Sylvia), Roth (Philip K.), Shakespeare (William), Shelton (Richard), Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lit’s Ten Most Sensitive Guys

To match my 10 strongest literary women characters, here are my 10 most sensitive male characters.

Also posted in Austen (Jane), Baldwin (James), Dickens (Charles), Fielding (Henry), Fitzgerald (F. Scott), McCarthy (Cormac), Melville (Herman), Milton (John), Steinbeck (John) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Making a Fetish of Suffering

Ivan Karamazov attacks those Christians who rationalize suffering by finding a higher purpose in it.

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Great Political Novels Not Agenda Driven

Great political novels are rich in spiritual attitude. Poor ones are agenda driven.

Also posted in Conrad (Joseph), Ginzburg (Natalia), Gordimer (Nadine), James (Henry), Llosa (Vargas), Naipaul (V.S.), Pamuk (Orhan), Roth (Philip K.), Stendahl, Turgenev (Ivan), Yeats (William Butler) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Lit Explains Romney’s Off-Putting Laugh

Lewis Carroll, Kundera, and Dostoevsky help us understand why Mitt Romney’s laugh makes us nervous.

Also posted in Carroll (Lewis), Kundera (Milan) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Harry, I Am Your Father” – Voldemort

Voldemort can be interpreted as the father in Harry Potter’s primal scene.

Also posted in Rowling (J. K.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fed, Rafa, Djoker–A Sibling Drama

Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are like the brothers in a Dostoevsky novel or a Grimm Brothers fairy tale: the two older brothers focus on each other and then the unassuming younger brother comes in and takes over.

Also posted in Aristotle, Ellison (Ralph), Grimm Brothers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering My Son through Alyosha K

        Spiritual Sunday Several times over the past few months I have rhapsodized over Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, feeling a little bit like Keats upon first reading Chapman’s Homer. “Then felt I like some watcher of the skies/When a new planet swims into its ken,” the poet writes, perfectly capturing the experience. One reason I […]

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With Aging, Abundant Recompense

  In a follow-up to yesterday’s post where I talked about my cancer-ridden friend Alan, I examine another passage from The Brothers Karamazov. This one is focused on aging generally, not just death. If you ever find yourself getting depressed about getting old, check it out.   And check out as well William Wordsworth’s Intimations […]

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Life from the Vantage Point of a Deathbed

  I haven’t updated you for a while on my friends Alan and Jackie Paskow, former St. Mary’s colleagues. Alan has been suffering from terminal cancer for close to three years now, and Julia and I visit every Sunday night. Julia performs Reiki massage on Jackie while Alan and I talk. This past Sunday, while […]

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A Tiny Seed Can Save a Church

Spiritual Sunday Like many mainline Protestant churches, our little Episcopalian congregation in St. Mary’s City, Maryland is having money difficulties.  The expense of aging buildings plus a recession that wiped out much of our endowment has forced us to hold fairly continuous fundraisers to balance the budget.    People have become testy and some, not liking […]

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Alyosha Karamazov’s Plea for Straight Talk

Is it just because I’m an Obama supporter or has political rhetoric reached new levels of inanity? And the rhetoric I have in mind is not that of Tea Party supporters, which is not new. I saw such self-indulgent calls for revolution coming from the left in the early 1970’s. No, I’m thinking of the […]

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What Would Alyosha Karamazov Do?

I continue to turn to The Brothers Karamazov almost as a meditational practice to guide me through the turmoil I am experiencing over the Arizona shootings. Yesterday I quoted Zosima, the elder in the book, about how we must look to ourselves if we want others to change. I spoke approvingly of those who, rather than […]

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Dostoevsky and the Arizona Shootings

When I posted, on Saturday morning, my blog entry for Sunday, I little realized that I would be turning for help later in the day to the work I was discussing. Doestoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov is guiding my response to the horrific shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Judge John Ball, and 16 others, including a child. […]

Also posted in Silko (Leslie Marmon) | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

A Message of Love for Fractious Times

Spiritual Sunday In last Monday’s post a fascinating discussion was started when I applied a passage from Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov to the debate over whether society should step in and help out homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages. Zosima, a very spiritual character and an elder in the Russian Orthodox Church, warns his listeners that […]

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Dostoevsky’s Support for Troubled Homes

In debates about whether or not to help out troubled homeowners, Fyodor Dostoevsky would probably be in favor.  I am currently reading The Brothers Karamazov and am struck by how applicable it seems to the debate over foreclosures. The mortgage crisis, of course, pushed the world economy into recession, and foreclosures on homes are still […]

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Sotomayor and Latina “Bias”

I’m going to take a break from one political topic—the disillusion that some who voted for Barack Obama are experiencing or will experience (and the ability of Gulliver’s Travels to help idealists of all stripes to understand and work through disillusion)—to take on another. There is a (predictable) furor over President Obama’s choice of Sonia […]

Also posted in Blume (Judy), Nabokov (Vladimir) | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

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