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Jack
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
The reviewer, it seems to me, probably did not read more than a chapter or two of the book in question, and perhaps a summary. After all, the 'Palichev's son' incident did not figure prominently enough in the novel to warrant a mention save to prove that Lev was not at all the man the reviewer--and many of the character's in FD's work--thinks he is.<br><br>In response to the 'how can you not hate Mishkin' post, I will say this-- indeed Lev is a conduit through which FD channels his own ideas about Christian-ness, Russian-ness, and human-ness, and the Prince is laughed at not because he is socially inept (the only ones who do not understand his views are the 'upper crust' he speaks to near the end, who misunderstand them because they are as 'bored' and 'empty' as he, in his innocence, believes they are NOT), but because the world FD creates is exactly as the Prince sees it.<br><br>Russia needs a new identity, FD says, and Anton Chekov said much the same thing (consider 'The Cherry Orchard,' which touted a reformist ideology, yes, in a practical sense, but also suggested there needed to be a change in the Russian character, some 'fresh blood,' something beyond the old-school feudal Christian bulls***)... Christ is mortal, as the other commentator said, and therefore, his 'disciples,' (Yglevny, Aglaya, Mr. Lebedev, Gen. Ivolgin, N. Fillipovna, Gen. Yepanchin, Lizaveta Yepanchin, Rogozhin, Hyppolyte, Alexandra, (the middle sister; what was her name?), Kearny (the boxer with the moustache who offers to be the Prince's 'second'), and Vera Lebedev)--count them, there are thirteen, that is, the 12 disciples and St. Paul (Ygevny Petrovitch, who visits the Prince after his return to Switzerland)? These people, just as in Hyppolyte's 'confession,' lose faith in the mortal Christ.<br><br>What is Prince Lev but a Christ? He tries to redeem the cruelest psycho imaginable! Like Christ, he is abandoned by all his followers before the moment of truth (I'll not spoil that for those who've not read it with details), because, FD seems to assert, Christ DID appear mortal on the cross if he existed (and FD believed he did, if I remember right).<br><br>Eh, in short, great book, mediocre summary, and two good readings by folks here. :)<br>