The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I've been working on this novel for a couple of months.  Now I'm not sure what to say about it.  What is there for me to say about one of the great masterworks of the 19th century and of Russian literature?  It is beautiful, and I loved most of it.  I wasn't too hot on the trial and the long lawyers' speeches. 

I thought the translation was pretty great.  Not that I know a lot about translating Russian literature, but I liked the feel and I could tell it was Dostoevsky and not Gogol or Tolstoy.  I read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, and it came with a good tip: Karamazov is pronounced with a regular old Z, not a ZT sort of sound like Mozart.  Who knew?

This is a pretty hopeless post really but hey everybody, read The Brothers Karamazov if you can!  It's a great work of literature and a great experience too.


  1. The trial is the point where Dostoevksy realized he had, um, not set everything up quite right, so he has to do a lot of backfilling. It ain't pretty. So I'm with you there.

  2. My most recent posting at Beyond Eastrod stands as an argument against TBK and in favor of Notes from Underground as an alternative for Dostoevsky's best.

  3. You're a better woman than I am, Jean! I've tried a couple of Dostoevsky books in my time and found them completely hopeless -- I perish of boredom before I can get anywhere with them. (Woe.)


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