A Dostoevsky Recommendation

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A Dostoevsky Recommendation

Postby Sabina » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:50 am

When I was 18 years old I took a book by Dostoevsky and began reading... I really liked it, and then I came to a part that made me cry. I don't mean just shed a few tears, I mean I cried out loud, big time! Luckily I was all alone at that time. There were no witnesses to the incident. :)

I put the book down, got something to drink, calmed down, and came back to continue.
I continued reading, while constantly crying. I could barely see anything from the tears, I kept wiping them and reading and they kept coming back, and so on.
Finally, I thought that was borderline masochism, so I decided not to read Dostoevsky after all.

Now, as I just turned 36, so I am double as old, I thought maybe I could try again. Then I thought to ask for a recommendation, if anyone here has any? And no, I am not asking for a light book or anything like that. Simply which work by Dostoevsky you would recommend and the Why would also be nice.
"Whether You believe you can, or you can't, you are right."
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Re: A Dostoevsky Recommendation

Postby mirjana » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:27 pm

Sabina,
Thank you for bringing Dostoevsky to our attention.
The whole your description how deep Dostoevsky has touched your soul the time back in your teen age is exactly the way how his fans go through his work. During my studies when the time came to read the whole Dostoevsky, based on my previous experiences in the youth, which have been similar to yours, I decided to leave my native town and find an isolated place where I shall read Dostoevsky in peace and ready to meet all psychological reactions and consequences. And it was like that. I went to the little village where my father was born and spent one month there only reading his major works. It has stayed in my memory as a valuable experience that reminds me somehow to the scene in the movie "Batman Begins" when he confronted his fears in the cave. It has been equally powerful for me as that scene was for the Bruce Wayne in the movie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOiJuKoXbk0&feature=related
I have passed through some deep psychological identification with his characters. Reading his book is like meeting the own soul in all its aspects, the most beautiful and the darkest as well. When I was with his books, the reality around me hasn’t existed; I was completely part of his world and one of his characters. It is powerful, painful and glorious identification.
I love all his books, he is my number one writer, but somehow The Idiot is my favorite. What is still inside of me from this book is the kind of light of soul that I have become aware of after reading that book. Besides, I do not know if I had ever had such impression what is the purity of the soul as I have got it after reading that book.
I wouldn’t recommend you to start his work with Crime and Punishment or with Notes from Underground. Leave it for later …
How I see Dostoevsky’s work? Recently somebody, I think Daywhite said something about sad music as his dominant choice and you wrote that Deeps Spirits members have a kind of inclination for that music. The same feeling that some master pieces of such music awakes in the heart; similar awareness comes with Dostoevsky’s books.
I hope I answered your question.
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