avatarOn Brothers Karamazov ☦️

23; 12023 H.E.

As more time passed since I first read Brothers Karamazov (BK) by Fyodor Dostoevsky, I realized more clearly how profoundly this novel impacted me. Without all the exaggeration and even excluding the flowery language — I consider myself to be, if not radically, but consciously different people before and after my journey with BK.

If we were talking and through some avenue of thoughts, we get myself to get started on it; I won’t stop talking for many hours if you let me. Instead of endlessly holding people hostage listening to me going on the brilliance of Dostoevsky and the intricacies of his Brothers Karamazov, I thought I would put my thoughts down here. Not exactly ink on paper, but something nonetheless.

Brothers Karamazov is a profoundly religious work. Imagine all the literature world has ever written, crossing borders, races, and cultures. If I see it as a big pile of everything together, BK stands there utterly alone from the group. In all my arrogance, I would proclaim that nothing close to it has ever been written — it is in a whole league of its own, which makes it unfair for any other work to be compared to Brothers Karamazov.

After finishing the book in over three weeks (the most turbulent and longest three weeks of my life for many other reasons), I found peace within myself. Somehow, many things that bothered and burned me from the inside about relationships and worries discovered a way to resolve themselves. Not that I forgot about them or consciously ignored the issues, but the brain rewired itself to deal with regular pleasantries and unpleasantries of life in a new way.

Brothers Karamazov made me love God again. The brothers helped to find forgiveness in me for other people and situations. Most importantly, forgiveness for myself. I remember this distinct feeling after finishing the book — “I will never read anything better than this.” Of course, never say never; however, this one is my exception. This thought didn’t trouble me either. I was happy to know I reached this kind of literature and experienced it while alive.

It does not mean that I won’t enjoy any other literature I come across in the future or snarkily compare everything to BK — no, no. That would defeat the purpose of acquiring a taste for high literature. I will still enjoy reading any other book and still do; I will critique and review anything I read by the baseline that I feel is proper; however, deep down, I know that my limit has been reached. Similarly, I know that I would never be able to write like Dostoevsky. Even if I am ever as good as the smallest and tiniest sliver of his early writings — that part of me can retire fulfilled. ◼︎