last night. Loved every page of it, and even though it's a long book, I wanted just a little bit more, to see the final outcomes of Ivan and Dmitry. What I didn't expect, and what I enjoyed the most, was the fictions-within-fictions element; such as the Grand Inquisitor poem told by Ivan (probably my favourite part, including his "meeting" with the Devil towards the end), or the account of Elder Zosima earlier in his life. I was pleasantly surprised by this almost postmodern presentation of substories and subjectivity. I even liked the deeper discussions and introspection into theology and free will, which is strange for someone who leans more agnostic.
Another thing to point out is how the murder of Fyodor, Dmitry's implication and Smerdyakov's confession are still narratively volatile and ambiguous. For instance, I read Ivan's last meeting with Smerdyakov as potentially being completely imagined. This is the day his hallucinations were getting worse, and the subtle and awry elements of the meeting nod that something is amiss, e.g. that the table had been moved closer to the wall implies that it was moved in order for Smerdyakov to hang himself, or Smerdyakov's detached demeanour, et cetera.
I felt a wave of elation when reading the last few pages too, it really made me want to be more like Alyosha, which I guess is the intended effect of the book. I think it's also the fact that I can look forward to reading more Dostoevsky, or can revisit Karamazov
again in the future.
Anyway, here's my shortlist of books I have up next which I'm excited for, seeing as though Karamazov
took me a couple weeks to finish:
- The Woman in the Dunes - Kōbō Abe
- Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K Dick
- Quarry AKA The Broker - Max Allan Collins
- Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
- Notes from Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky