“Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people’s sins. Go, and do not be afraid.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Ninety-Six days, ninety-six chapters and one birthday celebration. I have gone back to Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus, where the launch of the #KaramazovReadalong was announced on July 18, 2021, to celebrate the ending of a journey well-travelled.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in full Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, Dostoyevsky also spelled Dostoevsky, was born on November 11, 1821, New Style Gregorian calendar. But I am celebrating his birthday October 30, which comes from the Old Style, Julian calendar.
The Brothers Karamazov (or Brothers Karamazov) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky had been on my “To Be Read” stack of books for several years but I had hesitated, waiting for the right moment. Then serendipity arrived in the form of an e-mail message from my blogger friend and book aficionado, Liz Humphreys from Leaping Life, announcing that she was organizing a #Readalong of The Brothers Karamazov to coincide with the 200th year anniversary of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s birth. The stars aligned when Elisabeth Van Der Meer, from A Russian Affair, agreed to join the party.
The Karamazov Brothers was Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s last and greatest novel. This intense drama, interspersed with comic richness, is an “exploration of many deeply felt ideas about God, freedom, the collective nature of guilt, the disastrous consequences of rationalism.” (Blub on back of Oxford World’s Classics, a new translation by Ignat Avsey).
A special thank you to Liz Humpheys from Leaping Life and Elisabeth Van Der Meer from A Russian Affair for being my loyal companions on this adventure. A special thank you to my mother, Frances, my sister, Sarah, Mandy from New Zealand, Darlene from Spain, and Robbie from South Africa for being kindred spirits along this pathway.
“Ah, my children, my dear friends, don’t be afraid of life! How good life is when one does something noble and true.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov