This post is the reproduction of an earlier article in another blog. There was a time when I was in love with Russia, and in spite of that love, I had not read any of Dostoyevsky’s works. So, as part of the effort to do justice to my fascination, I started reading The Brothers Karamazov.
I completely understand why that novel is as famous as it is. It’s like a storm. That novel is a storm. The chaos of all the human elements put together. One more reason, and this is an opinion, is that nobody else has ever painted such an honest picture of russisme. I wonder how much more beautiful the reading would have been had I known Russian. Translations always lose the true local flavour.
I had often reflected on the European inclinations of Russian writers. A Russia devoid of Persian, Chinese and perhaps even Indian influences was something I found quite strange. It is in this novel that similarities begin to appear. The concept of the Elders within the ecclesiastical order is so typically Indian! But even then, the comparisons are few and far between. There are, of course, other books like Darsu Uzala which are Asian through and through. It was probably their attempts at getting “civilized” which made the Russian bureaucracy of St. Petersburg and Moscow such European dandies!
Entry filed under: literature.