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Thread: Liberal Atheists and Dostoevsky

  1. #1
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    Liberal Atheists and Dostoevsky

    I am a (semi)liberal atheist Dostoevsky lover. Today, I started reading the book Demons, which I got based on the assertion on the back that it is Dostoevsky's "darkest novel." Such a statement made me salivate, as I love Dostoevsky's psychological darkness. However, I was not fully aware that this was his darkest novel because it is is filled with evil godless radicals. I'm relatively certain that I will still enjoy the book, because, well, it's Dostoevsky's darkest novel, and I'm sure the evil godless radicals can be seen as statements of general human nature. But it got me thinking, I'm positive that I'm not the only liberal atheist Dostoevsky lover. In fact, I'm certain that among Dostoevsky's fans, a rather large chunk would describe themselves the same way.

    So, tell me, my fellow Dostoevsky loving godless radicals, intellectuals, progressives, and so on and so forth, how do you feel about Dostoevsky's political and religious views? Does it ever get difficult to read his works when he derails your views so heavily?

    Personally, I'm not politically motivated enough to be bothered, and his religious characters are often balanced out by equally interesting(and not repulsive) atheistic characters, such as Ivan Karamazov. I'm curious as to how Demons will play out for me, though.

  2. #2
    Ataraxia bazarov's Avatar
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    His religious views changed through his life so we luckily have Ivan and Alyosha in same novel described from someone who experienced both of aspects and who is generally the best for everything that is considered under term of ''writing''. So thank God for that!

    His political views can hardly be considered only on reading of Demons (I am not saying you haven't read the rest of his opus ), but I don't won't to spoil you a great novel, which is hardly his darkest novel. Or what do you think on ''dark novel''? Oops, sorry.

    I don't know why are you considering your political and religious views with some writers views. Enjoy the book; I really doubt you'll ever reject some novel because some writers often mentions God in it (considerind the fact you're (semi)liberal atheist). I find that totally irrelevant.
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    Plus, it is Dostoievisky, even when he is talking about his beliefs, he is able to present a character to stand against it or the doubts inside. He is quite able to be faithful to complete unlikely characters like the underground man and still use his own voice...

  4. #4
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    That's always been one of my favorite things about Dostoevsky, actually. Characters that are based on ideologies that he despises(the Underground Man, Raskolnikov, Ivan) are made to be equally compelling as those that he loved(Prince Myshkin, Aloysha).

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