Ex Libris Kirkland

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Translator Richard, Larissa Pevear & Volokhonsky
First Written 1880
Genre Fiction
Origin Russia
Publisher Vintage Classics
ISBN-10 0099922800
My Copy paperback
First Read August 11, 2010

The Brothers Karamazov

It feels like it's been forever since I last re-read this, so I'm going through it again for fun.

Noted on March 29, 2016

If I add any more books to the 'read every two years' list, I'll never have any space for new books. And yet, I keep picking up The Bros about that often, and loving it every time.

This round, I read it while listening to the audio version read by Stephen Beyer, which is really quite amazing. The combo of reading the text and hearing it is powerful. It makes me wonder if I should spend more time reading aloud, or listening to others read aloud as well.

Noted on August 12, 2010

His face expressed a sort of extreme insolence, and at the same time - which was strange - an obvious cowardice. He looked like a man who had been submissive for a long time and suffered much, but had suddenly jumped up and tried to assert himself. Or better still, like a man who wants terribly to hit you, but is terribly afraid that you are going to hit him.

Quoted on July 24, 2016

The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he’s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.

Quoted on March 29, 2016

“Active love? That’s another question, and what a question, what a question! You see, I love makind so much that – would you believe it? – I sometimes dream of giving up all, all I have, of leaving Lise and going to become a sister of mercy. I close my eyes, I think and dream, and in such moments I feel an invincible strength in myself. No wounds, no festering sores could frighten me. I would bind them and cleanse them with my own hands, I would nurse the suffering, I am ready to kiss those sores…”

“It’s already a great deal and very well for you that you dream of that in your mind and not of something else. Once in a while, by chance, you many do some good deed.”

Quoted on March 29, 2016

You see, I for one know that he can't stand me, or anybody else, including you, though you imagine he's 'taken to respecting you.' Still less Alyoshka, he despises Alyoshka. Yet he doesn't steal, that's the thing, he's not a gossip, he keeps his mouth shut, he won't wash our dirty linen in public, he makes great cabbage pies, and furthermore to hell with him, really, is he worth talking about?

Quoted on August 13, 2010

'Good lord, what do I care? As I told you: I just want to drag on until I'm thirty, and then--smash the cup on the floor!'

'And the sticky little leaves, and the precious graves, and the blue sky, and the woman you love! How will you live, what will you love them with?' Alyosha exclaimed ruefully.

Quoted on August 13, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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