Author Topic: Best Dostoevsky book?  (Read 3784 times)

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Offline Shiny

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Best Dostoevsky book?
« on: July 28, 2011, 10:57:28 PM »
I have to say the Brothers Karamazov. I believe it was everything Dostoevsky wanted to say in his lifetime about the human condition.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 10:59:36 PM »
I don't know about best, but my favorite is Notes From Underground...  8)
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 11:35:21 PM »
I don't know about best, but my favorite is Notes From Underground...  8)
And why is that?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 11:59:12 PM »
It just sort of resonates with me? Woh, that sounds too new-agey!  Um... I can identify with it?  No, that's not it either. It speaks to my soul? I dunno...  Let me put it this way, of all the books that I've read, it's the only one that ever got an emotional reaction out of me, not so much because I was wrapped up in the character(s), but mostly because I was wrapped up in the unfolding of ideas and the expressions of what it means to exist for some. And perhaps I catch a glimpse of myself, the worst part of myself, in the underground man.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 12:01:33 AM by Asteriktos »
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 12:43:17 AM »
I've only read The Brothers Karamazov, but now thanks to Asteriktos I think I'll check out Notes from Underground.


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« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 12:43:51 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 06:52:37 AM »
I'm not familiar with this work either, but Notes from (the) Underground is available as a free audio book here.

Offline Phoenix73

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 07:32:54 AM »
My favourite was Crime and punishment, over a decade since I read it . I wish a decent screen adaptation was possible.

Offline NightOwl

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 04:32:53 PM »
Either Brothers Karamazov or The Idiot. Brothers Karamazov might have the upper hand because of Elder Zosima, and because The Idiot was a little too much like a soap opera, at times, regardless of its brilliance. My favorite Dostoyevsky character, however, is Porfiry Petrovich from Crime and Punishment. His conversations with Raskolnikov were a real treat.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 04:39:40 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).
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Offline biro

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 04:50:30 PM »
I still haven't finished Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov. Think I'll pop on over to the library tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.  :)
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 05:11:30 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).

Which translation do you prefer? I like the Pevear and Volokhonsky one.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 05:20:33 PM »
Brothers Karamazov, no question about it.

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 05:45:29 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).

Which translation do you prefer? I like the Pevear and Volokhonsky one.

Absolutely, they are the best (and I love their footnotes).
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Offline stavros_388

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2011, 07:27:53 PM »
While I loved The Brothers Karamazov, and many parts of it show Dostoevsky at his best, Crime and Punishment for me is far better as a start-to-finish novel. I read it while traveling and finishing it was almost like having a religious experience! That said, these are probably my two favorite novels of all time, so Brothers is absolutely worth the (extra) effort. I own everything else he has written, but have yet to make it all the way through any of the others... including The Idiot, which I've read about 1/3 of 4 or 5 times! One of these days...
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 07:29:41 PM by stavros_388 »
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2011, 08:09:16 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).

Which translation do you prefer? I like the Pevear and Volokhonsky one.

Absolutely, they are the best (and I love their footnotes).

I see you like Tolstoy and Hugo. How do you rate P&V's translation of War and Peace, is that the best? And what's your favorite Hugo book?
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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Offline xariskai

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 04:07:05 AM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).
My sentiments exactly. Possibly the best work of fiction I've ever read.

Offline Poppy

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2011, 12:16:56 PM »
i have C&P on my kindle, i think it was free

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2011, 07:17:43 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).

Which translation do you prefer? I like the Pevear and Volokhonsky one.

Absolutely, they are the best (and I love their footnotes).

I see you like Tolstoy and Hugo. How do you rate P&V's translation of War and Peace, is that the best? And what's your favorite Hugo book?

Chuckle...you assume I have read War and Peace more than once. Once was a labor of supreme effort reading it at one go over a seven day period.
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Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2011, 02:34:23 AM »
It just sort of resonates with me? Woh, that sounds too new-agey!  Um... I can identify with it?  No, that's not it either. It speaks to my soul? I dunno...  Let me put it this way, of all the books that I've read, it's the only one that ever got an emotional reaction out of me, not so much because I was wrapped up in the character(s), but mostly because I was wrapped up in the unfolding of ideas and the expressions of what it means to exist for some. And perhaps I catch a glimpse of myself, the worst part of myself, in the underground man.
I've got to agree with this. Few books do I ever get emotionally attached to, and this is the only one where I felt both sympathy and raw hatred, and they probably come from my own human identification with the character.

Offline Kasatkin fan

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2011, 02:35:27 AM »
I'm not familiar with this work either, but Notes from (the) Underground is available as a free audio book here.
Of note, the original books are all out of copyright, so if you read Russian you can get any for free, and I'm sure there are free translations around as well.

Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2011, 10:21:22 PM »
TBK, obvs  ;)

I can't imagine what would have followed it, had he been able to complete it into The Life of a Great Sinner, as originally intended.
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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2011, 11:09:16 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).
I agree on both counts.  I would recommend Crime and Punishment first, just because its structure provides an better/easier introduction to Dostoevsky.
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Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2011, 11:12:00 PM »
Having read all Dostoyevsky translated into English and some multiple times by different translators I think that Brothers Karamazov is not only the best of his work but perhaps the best book outright I've ever read (surpassing my former favorites Tolstoy and Hugo).
I agree on both counts.  I would recommend Crime and Punishment first, just because its structure provides an better/easier introduction to Dostoevsky.
Seconded. I would recommend reading as much Dostoevsky as you have designs on reading first, and then reading The Brothers. It makes the whole experience much more fulfilling...
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Offline stanley123

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2011, 01:07:24 AM »
I have to say the Brothers Karamazov. I believe it was everything Dostoevsky wanted to say in his lifetime about the human condition.
I thought I recall that he wrote that there were going to be two books or two volumes and the second would be by far the better of the two. But as far as I know, only the first book, Brothers Karamazov is available, and not the second.

Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 01:50:23 AM »
I have to say the Brothers Karamazov. I believe it was everything Dostoevsky wanted to say in his lifetime about the human condition.
I thought I recall that he wrote that there were going to be two books or two volumes and the second would be by far the better of the two. But as far as I know, only the first book, Brothers Karamazov is available, and not the second.
2 or 3 volumes, entitled, all in all, The Life of a Great Sinner. He died shortly after writing TBK, and thus no other volume exists. You can visit the desk and room in which he wrote it, and where he also died, bible in his lap, they say, beneath his favorite icon of the Theotokos. I've been there too often.
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2011, 05:11:45 PM »
Didn't Dostoevsky plan on writing "The Life of a Great Sinner" before "Demons"? He also had a book called "Atheism" in the works, but I don't know much about it. And wasn't the protoganist of "Great Sinner" later transformed and became Stavrogin?
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2011, 06:18:06 PM »
I forgot to mention that Stinking Lizaveta scene can never escape from my memory. I never have been that horrified from such a descriptive scene, and I'd get more detailed but I don't want to spoil the plot.
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2011, 06:38:35 PM »
Didn't Dostoevsky plan on writing "The Life of a Great Sinner" before "Demons"? He also had a book called "Atheism" in the works, but I don't know much about it. And wasn't the protoganist of "Great Sinner" later transformed and became Stavrogin?
From what I understand, TLOAGS was in the works, in theory, for years, and influenced Demons, The Idiot and TBK, but there were very tangible plans to actually write it, and continue TBK in some way in it.
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Best Dostoevsky book?
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2013, 10:51:18 PM »
A Gentle Creature

I can't believe I hadn't read this until recently. An excellent short story (~ 17,000 words).
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 10:51:29 PM by Asteriktos »
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky