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Thread: Ranking of Dostoevskij novels

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    Smile Ranking of Dostoevskij novels

    Hi,

    I`m thinking about reading some Dostoevskij novels. It would be nice if some people could share their personal ranking of the Dostoevskij novels or could give some reasons why to read a specific novel.

    Greetings, Benjy

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Just to begin:
    My favorite novels are:
    The Brothers Karamazov
    The Idiot
    Crime and Punishment

    I also love some of his short stories very much. My favorite ones:

    "The white nights"
    "A Gentle Creature" and "Bobok"
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    Thank you very much, Danik 2016! It would be nice if you (or someone else) could also post something on what you like about one or the other of these works, especially about Crime and Punishment, The Adolescent, The Gambler or the short stories. (I already read quite some passages from "Brothers Karamazov" and "The Idiot")

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    There are several Dostojevski threads on this forum:

    http://www.online-literature.com/for...oevsky-Fyodor&
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    Thanks!

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    I agree with the sloth that the books to read are The Bros K (if you read none other, read that one), The Idiot (just avoid Gladys for a time ) and C&P (the original Friday the 13th). Some folks like to start with Notes From the Underground, which is shorter. If you go that route, be sure to read the others, which are ultimately greater novels. Good luck and enjoy! Dostoyevsky is an amazing thinker.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Thanks!

    (Who's Gladys? An ultimate Non-Idiot?
    And the connection with Friday the 13th? Because everything goes wrong for Rodion? - I'm not a native Speaker in English)

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    Thanks!

    (Who's Gladys? An ultimate Non-Idiot?
    Gladys is the Fairy Godmother of The Idiot--well, more of an avenging Seraph, really. She's a nice lady and fiercely intelligent. But if we say her name one more time, she's going to materialize. I'll distract her and you run for it. (Just kidding Gladys. You're the best).

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    And the connection with Friday the 13th? Because everything goes wrong for Rodion? - I'm not a native Speaker in English)
    Oh sorry, I didn't see you were German. Friday the 13th was a really bad American horror movie about a psychopath who murders teenagers with an ax. A bunch of even worse sequels were made (Saturday the 14th, Sunday the 15th, Monday the 16th--no, no, I'm just kidding again).
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Is there a materializing function on this forum? (How does it feel)

    Well, those two murders were committed, as I understand, in quite an amateurish way, that's true. Yet I've read it was something like a perfect crime - except that Rodion had that longing to betray himself...

    By the way - I was born on a Sunday the 8th (really) ... that goes with the row.
    Last edited by Benjy; 05-15-2018 at 12:28 PM.

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    Is there a materializing function on this forum? (How does it feel)
    It all depends on whether you agree with her. Believe me, it can get uncomfortable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    Well, those two murders were committed, as I understand, in quite an amateurish way, that's true.
    There's a professional way? I'm getting a little scared of you, Benjy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Benjy View Post
    Yet I've read it was something like a perfect crime - except that Rodion had that longing to betray himself...
    I came upon this video yesterday and thought about you. It addresses Raskolnikov's motives--rather too briefly, but I thought you might be interested. As to your point, I don't see him as looking to get caught. That would take more self-awareness than he can muster until the novel's final pages. Let me know what you think.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vEfyCVD7BgI

    Added: Just found this one, too. Same guy, but better because more detail. Enjoy!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dlj2fuJsGLI
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 05-15-2018 at 01:18 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Thanks a lot for the links! Unfortunately I haven't had time so far to watch it because I have to concentrate a lot while listening to an English lecture.

    I would like to give you a link, too, on Crime & Punishment (Schuld und Sühne). You probably can't understand the German, but you can use the automatically generated English Subtitle which is, in my opinion, not too bad, to get the idea.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llyJMT6OIME

    Do you have something like that in English language, too? Or other interesting material on Dostoevskij or Tolstoy?

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    The Gnu Normal Pompey Bum's Avatar
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    Thanks. I couldn't find an English translation, but it was hilarious in German. (I liked Raskolnikov's stubble beard and little grin especially). The professor in the link I left suggests that Dostoyevsky's works are so compelling because he does not argue his positions against a straw man version of an opposing view, but by what he (the professor) calls an iron man argument. That is, Dostoyevsky makes the argument for the position he rejects in its strongest possible form, and then shows where it leads and why it is flawed. In the case of Crime and Punishment, he opposes Raskolnikov's atheist-materialist/nihilist position that morality is the mask of cowardice and that a free and healthy mind must be able to overcome it. He does this by giving Raskolnikov every reason (even an ethical one) for carrying out his crime. But the act itself is counterproductive and (he says) afterwards it changes who Raskolnikov is in a fundamental way. I can see his (Peterson's) view to some extent. I'm not sure Raskolnikov is a new person entirely (though he is by the end of the epilogue), but his "heroic" endeavor is an utter failure. All he manages to do is (SPOILER ALERT) to murder the innocent Lizaveta with the repugnant pawnbroaker and to steal money he never wished to touch again. In my view it is Raskolnikov's subsequent self-loathing (as opposed to his conscience, which is the standard interpretation) that puts him in Siberia. But I do not think he botched the job because he always wanted to fail. He was too arrogant and self impressed before the crime. He hated himself afterwards only because he saw himself as a failure. And he was cured of this by the self-awareness his love for Sonya brought him in the novel's final pages--in my view the most powerful part of the novel.

    Well, that's my opinion--the best resource I know how to give you. Ask me another day and I'll tell you about War and Peace. As usual my ideas are not the standard ones.
    Last edited by Pompey Bum; 05-16-2018 at 05:17 PM.
    And this from a man in a bunny suit.

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    Yes, it's really interesting how Peterson presents it:
    - Raskolnikow could, through the murder, save his sister from a loveless marriage
    - the pawnbroker is cruel, deceitful, resentful, terrible in the eyes of the other people as well
    - R. could "free the slave", the abused pawnbroker's niece
    - he is half-starved, delirious, possessed with all those new, nihilist ideas
    - with the money he could become a lawyer and do good for the world/the poor
    ...

    When you listen to this, for a short moment you really think Raskolnikow could defend his murder. Very interesting, this iron man concept.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    It all depends on whether you agree with her.
    What do I have to agree on? By the way, some weeks ago I personally wrote an e-mail to this Youtuber and asked him about "The Idiot". He replied he would probably have done it by Octobre or November this year. Around Octobre 1st there will also be an election by Youtube users with the winning 25 novels being guaranteed to be played during the next half year; the Idiot being one of the favourites, perhaps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    As to your point, I don't see him as looking to get caught. That would take more self-awareness than he can muster until the novel's final pages.
    Of course, I haven't read C&P so far, so this (subconscious) looking to get caught is just something I picked up somewhere.

  14. #14
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Lol. It is better to watch this kind of presentation after having read the actual novel. Else one might get the idea that it is a sort of black comedy.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Ask me another day and I'll tell you about War and Peace. As usual my ideas are not the standard ones.
    OK, what about War and Peace?
    (Thanks for the Peterson lectures! Really interesting; it reminded me of 1 or 2 Irwin Weil lectures on Dostoevskij that I had watched some weeks ago)

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