“I recall how it struck me that it was not at all in the area of the heart that he was striking himself, it was considerably higher and more in the middle, in fact, just under his neck.  Again and again he pointed at the spot. I dismissed my observation as silly and irrelevant, but now I think he may really have been pointing at the fifteen hundred rubles sewn in the rag that he carried around his neck.”

            Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1880

Another book that I skirted around.  I already had Crime and Punishment, I didn’t need to give Dostoyevsky another one.  Well, I guess I did.  This book was also usually stuffed into my traveling backpack.  Loved reading different scenes of anguish while I was spending a lot of empty boring hours sitting on an on ramp somewhere in the middle of Nebraska.  The Grand Inquisitor chapter was an early favorite in my younger years – not so much now.  Much more intrigued with the relationship between the brothers.  Having different relationships with my three brothers as we age probably the reason.  I would be hard pressed to force them into any of these personalities however.  But reading through this book, I was entranced by Dimitri’s obsession but ultimate disregard for money – living in the moment.  Alyosha’s search for meaning.  And the creepy Smerdyakov that makes you think Dostoyevsky just finished reading David Copperfield and couldn’t get Uriah Heep out of his imagination.  I put the three brothers together as they share more than they know or want to.  Their father of course is lingering in the background.  I love the purse that Dimitri carried around his neck that would have proven his innocence even as he chose to let his explanations speak for themselves…bad move.   Couldn’t stop reflecting on family as I read this book.  I kind of enjoyed that aspect.

December 2014


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