After what seems like an incredibly long time, I have finally turned the last page of The Brothers Karamazov
. It was very good, but very long and very dense, complete with a footnotes section that explained certain Russian idioms and cultural peculiarities, as well as gave all the Bible citations for the numerous biblical allusions. Now, I can check one more off my list of "Books to Read Before I Die". I do recommend this one to most of you - but only take it on if you feel like giving it your full attention for some time. There is a lot in there you don't want to miss, particularly in the way he uses language (hysterical at times!). I have to say though, the ending baffled me a bit. It seemed so sudden after all this build up, then BLAM, and it's over! And I have to wonder about Dostoevsky's choice to end it with the certain characters that he did. Does Alyosha represent his (Dostoevsky) hope for the world? And if so, what does that say about the church/holy orders given that Alyosha left them, at least temporarily. Zosima may be the key to understanding those questions, so I might have to go back and re-read the Elder's speeches. And what was the deal with Ivan going crazy? It seemed like to me he ran out of things for Ivan to do, so he thought, "why not have him go nuts and think he sees the Devil"? Or is Dostoevsky saying that is necesarily the end result of a life only of philosophy and cold rationalism? Or is that what I want to see in it? Ahh...so much to ponder.
While I continue to think about that, I'll be picking up something lighter for my vacation time. Dan Simmons' Hyperion
found its way to my hand from the shelf, so maybe I'll take that up this afternoon. Or perhaps this evening. At some point I need to pack, cause North Carolina, here I come baby!