Literary Summary: Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is another classic of nineteenth century Russian literature. Written in a time of intellectual, socio-political, and moral upheaval in the Russian Empire, Dostoevsky’s work must be understood in the context of the debates of Russian nihilism and egoism. Russian nihilism and egoism are not about the absence of values and […]

Literary Summary: Crime and Punishment

Literary Summary: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot is another great work by one of Russia’s preeminent authors. The work draws on the Russian folklore archetype of the holy fool, a trope also found in Christianity. Prince Myshkin is the holy fool. Returning to Russia after having been away in Switzerland for many years battling epilepsy, Myshkin’s appearance acts […]

Literary Summary: Dostoevsky’s The Idiot

Get to know Russell and Wittgenstein

Originally published in 1987, Bruce Duffy reimagined the lives of Bertrand Russell, G.E Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein as they happened. Wittgenstein, a troubled and a troubling man, is a central figure in this biographical novel.

Between wars and peace during the 20th century, the lives and the minds of these great men were shaped and constantly changed depending on he general circumstances of the world back then.

This novel is a deep introduction to the theories of our heroes and a must read for those interested in them.

A different definition of writing

writing

Writing is not only about expressing ideas or telling a story. Whereas the aforementioned is true, writing goes beyond this, even for philosophy writing too.

How can writing be defined?

Writing is about creating moments. A moment is created when meeting a person, an event, an idea even if it is an internal subjective one. It’s like being hooked and digging deeper. Writing is about the perpetuation of that moment, which can go through fluctuations along the writing exercice.

On parallel, the reader will be hooked on that moment and will go through fluctuations as well. Being emotional or rational, or both ideally, the fluctuation of both the writer and the reader, will propel them into the ongoing moment crafted by writing.

That moment is like a runway show: colours, shapes, emotions, concepts, themes will showcase for the writer and the reader. Often, the writer is hooked but not the reader; maybe a different reader would be. That’s the risk of creativity specially in writing.

The worse kind of writing is the one that stops the moment. Or the one that doesn’t create any moment. The writing that doesn’t pick up what’s left and go further with it, is the kind of forgotten books shortly after reading them.

Writing means a constant search for the upcoming word and idea.

Meeting a new “other”, might be a person or a place, an idea or a picture, an event or a book etc., is the ultimate goal of a writer.

If not, what would writing be?

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

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My hometown famous writer, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), was a Lebanese-American writer, poet and a painter, also considered a philosopher although he rejected this title. Gibran’s life has been described as one “often caught between Nietzschean rebellion, Blakean pantheism and Sufi mysticism”. He wrote about love, happiness, religion, justice, soul, death, life and so on.

He wrote his most famous book, The Prophet in 1923, while in New York. I personally think it has been very much inspired by Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra. The Prophet is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, justice and all topics of human questionning.

I picked this paragraph of it for all of us to meditate upon:

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This book is a must-read. I would love to know how do you interpret this prose poetry. Please leave you comments down below

How to save the world?

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If I have to recommend one writer, it would be him: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Simply, magnificent! And my favorite book is : The Brothers Karamazov! It is a masterpiece.

Dostoyevsky wrote this quote in his book: The Idiot.

It can be understood as God. God is beauty. So, God/beauty will save the world.

It can also be understood as love. Love is beauty and only love is what we need to make the world a better place.

What about beauty and aesthetics? Is art the world savior? It can also be an interpretation for this quote.

Now things get complicated with this quote taken from: The Brothers Karamazov:

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So, how would the world be saved? If God and the devil are fighting in “beauty” which is in the heart of the man, does it mean love will save us all? This quotes describes to me the tragic human condition. What do you say on this?

The Artist (the end)

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It was grey outside, but the landscape stretches out so far. It was bigger than he could recall. The trees are almost black and crows are looking at him. Then he sees his mom and dad. They look so young, smiling at him. He ran to them and hugged them tight. He doesn’t know how long the three of them stayed like this. It is such a warm feeling.

–          I’m sorry if I made feel so sad and so embarrassed all your life but please understand me that C was dying anyway. I wanted to spare her the pain!

–          You are forgiven my dear, no more sadness, no more sorrow. We hope that you are fine and happy here and that the staff treats you well. Anyway, you look so beautiful and strong!

–          Thank you mom, thank you dad. Yes I am fine and they are all very nice to me. I paint a lot to save the world. Look how great it is now!

–          That’s true, it is wonderful, and you’ve done such a great job.

And the sun pointed out in the sky. The green colors were bright. Crows gathered to witness the magic work of a great artist. Suddenly birds were singing and flowers blossoming. Everybody was joyful. They stayed there forever, for an eternity that no one can take away from him. It was an eternal instant of shapes and colors and melodies. It was the eternal instant of love!

                                                                          ***

The Man in White and The Woman in blue, alongside the whole staff in white and blue stood by The Artist’s bed. He was motionless; “no pulse” said The Man in White. The Artist died in his sleep; he died for a trip that never existed, he died for a dream that was dead before it was born, he died for a world that never knew him! Outside, it was an early spring!

 

The Artist (VIII)

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The Man in White kept asking about an eventual visit of relatives of The Artist. Usually visits are booked in advance. No one announced anything. So what was this trip he mentioned? The Man in White has been worried about The Artist: the latter hardly leaves his room, he rarely talks. These were serious signs of some troubles. “So again, no trip, no eventual visit, no random movements that could alert the security guys who were already on alert”, he thought.

Reading his mind, The Woman in Blue has been worried for days now. To her, The Artist, who is a patient like all the others, is no ordinary guy. She remembers a woman bringing him to this place many years ago. She did say that he lost his parents and was in many foster houses. Many foster parents refused to keep him for being crazy and a murderer. Then, he has no parents, no sisters and brothers, and no foster parents of course, no relatives. And that trip was an enigma wrapped in mystery. Or was it imaginary?