D is for December, Dostoevsky, Debussy

Reading: The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Listening: Nocturne, Debussy

Today’s daydream:

I want to travel to Russia, to Kizhi Island, and walk through the doors, up the staircases, and into the rooms of this magical wooden church.

Church of the Transfiguration of Christ
Last December I read my first Russian novel.  I’d always been super intimidated by the idea, not for the length–I wanted a heavy book to carry with me through the winter–but for the rumors.  People talk about Russian literature in words of warning: murky, preachy, dull, politicized, too many words, and so on.

 

I wanted to see for myself.

I was choosing between Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov.  An friend suggested Anna.  He explained it like this: Dostoevsky is psychological; Tolstoy creates grander stories.  I took his suggestion, and couldn’t put the book down.  I dove into those deep pages, and it was all good to me: the unbearably long, impossible-to-pronounce names (“Prince Stepan Arkadyevich Oblonsky”); the textures, the colors (furs, velvets, laces; lilac, red, soft-pink, black); the candelabras, the staircases…the vodka.
Royalty, nobility, peasants.
I became convinced that, like The BibleAnna Karenina has the answers to all of life’s questions.
So here I am, in the middle of a new December, and, thinking I’ll give Dostoevsky a try.  I’ve heard you’re either a Tolstoy reader or a Dostoevsky fanatic, which doesn’t bode well.  I’ve also heard, from one dim-wit, that women tend to enjoy Anna Karenina more and The Brothers Karamazov less (and by the way, that reply got some very energetic feedback from yours trulBut again, I’ve decided to see for myself.That is the only way to experience a story, after-all.  Everything else is just some version of Cliff Notes.
Tolstoy, my love.
Dostoevsky, as of yet, only an acquaintance.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
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