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Dostoevsky's Greatest Admirer - Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Dostoevsky's Greatest Admirer [Feb. 26th, 2017|10:44 am]
Tony Grist
The Brothers Karamazov was Stalin's favourite book. How odd. Somehow you don't think of that murderous lump curling up with a good book- and especially not one as weird and theological as this- but that's how it was. He was a great reader- typically getting through 500 pages a day- which is one hell of a lot- and his tastes in literature seem to hark back to the poet and seminarian he once was- before the power trip kicked in.  So what did this blower-up of churches make of Dostoevsky's Christian mysticsm? Quite a lot apparently- because his copy of the book survives and it's the chapters about the saintly Fr Zosima he seems to have studied most closely, underlining passages about murder, guilt and forgiveness with his coloured pencil. What can we make of it? Nothing really- nothing for sure- except that these questions engaged him. The chapter one might have expected him to home in on- Ivan's "poem" about the Grand Inquistor who seeks to relieve the world of the great burden of thought- goes unmarked. Was it too close to home or did he baulk at gifting posterity with anything too self-revelatory?

The remnants of Stalin's library have, apparently, found their way into Vladimir Putin's private office- and Putin, when he has nothing better to do- likes to take volumes from the shelf and discuss Stalin's underlinings with his visitors. Those are sessions it would be good to sit in on.

Do you think Trump reads Dostoevsky?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2017-02-26 11:23 am (UTC)
Well, he spent five years as a seminary student...
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2017-02-26 11:27 am (UTC)
You beat me to it- he knew that of which he was reading.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-02-26 12:03 pm (UTC)
And I've read that the poems he wrote as a young man aren't at all bad.

A man of hidden depths...
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2017-02-26 03:39 pm (UTC)
He is still recalled as a very fine Georgian language poet and he also had a good singing voice.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-02-26 05:06 pm (UTC)
A poet, a bookworm and a singer- it's all so far from the image he chose to project.

I don't suppose there's a recording of him singing, is there?
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[User Picture]From: cmcmck
2017-02-26 05:24 pm (UTC)
Not that I know of but he could have been a professional opera singer had he chosen.
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[User Picture]From: athenais
2017-02-26 03:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not convinced Trump can read, quite honestly. I'm certain he doesn't read for pleasure.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-02-26 03:37 pm (UTC)
I think that's probably the case.

I came across a quote the other day, probably from his book- which of course he didn't actually write himself- in which he says something like he'd figured out early on that it was smart to be shallow.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2017-02-26 03:35 pm (UTC)

Your last question

In a word, no.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-02-26 03:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Your last question

I see him as more of a Tolstoy man myself; you know, that epic sweep....
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