March 2012

Dr. Zhivago

Life under Communism

If you read my last post for the Foreign Book Club, then you know that I love Dostoevsky. There is a psychology, a raw-realness, and an unflinchingly penetrative analysis of the human condition in his writing that really appeals to me.

This can be said for a lot of the Russian greats. Why? I really don’t know, although I’m sure that countless university essays have been written that try to answer this. Personally I wouldn’t mind traveling to Russia and finding out for myself.

The Systematic Destruction of Society

The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky is my favorite author. His books can be a little heavy and confusing at times, but this isn’t the case with The Possessed, also known as Demons or The Devils, depending on who translated it. The Possessed is a fast paced, entertaining novel that explores the darkest facets of human experience.

Dostoyevsky takes you from the highest, wealthiest levels of society down to the lowest criminals and scumbags. Indeed, along with the narrator himself, the two main characters move between these very different societies. Both were born into money and privilege but choose to associate with the criminal underground of pre-revolutionary Russia.