Thursday, 16 September 2010

Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov

Long time no book. The reason is not, though, that I have been lazy, but only because the last book was a rather long one. That is also the reason why it looks so battered, which I like a lot. It has been with me for a while and it shows it. Didn’t understand much of it, though it seems there is lots of Rene Girard’s theory of sacrificing and the sacred in here.

I simply copied the passages I found the most striking.

“And since man is not strong enough to get by without the miracle, he creates new miracles for himself, his own now, and bows down before the miracle, of the quack and the witchcraft of the peasant woman” (Dostoyevsky, 1880, p.333).

“each person being guilty for all creatures and for all things, as well as his own sins” (Dostoyevsky, 1880, p.392). This is what the scapegoat does, and this is what Dimitry will do, being punished for a crime, he did not commit, but accepting the punishment. And by this process the scapegoat can become sacred.

“Bear in mind particularly that you can be no man’s judge. For a criminal can have no judge upon the erth until that judge himself has perceived that he is every bit as much a criminal as the man who stands before him, and that for the crime of the man who stands before him he himself may well be more guilty than anyone else. Only when he grasps this may he become a judge.” (Dostoyevsky, 1880, p.415).

“The human race fails to accepts its prophets and does them to death, but men love their martyrs and honour those whom they have martyred. (…)

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