Friday, January 09, 2009

WWDD--what would dostoevsky do?


i have dostoevsky on the brain. that can be a dangerous thing to do because having dostoevsky on the brain often makes one manic and slightly febrile. it makes one think outrageous thoughts and do outrageous things. like brutally murder one's landlady. but i don't have a landlady, so no worries on that front. it will no doubt be confined to manically careening from one activity to another around the house today.

i think i got dostoevsky in my head when i reshelved my books last weekend. during college, i had dostoevsky in my head quite a lot. because i majored in russian literature (as one does when one grows up in a small town in south dakota and attends a big ten school in the midwest). there was a point in time when someone would refer to a particular scene in the brothers karamazov and i could turn to the page it was on within seconds. me and the brothers k were totally on intimate terms and i never could decide which brother i loved best--ivan for his cool logical mind, alexei for his goodness or mitya for his mad, slightly febrile careening around--he was probably my favorite, if i'm honest, tho' i previously wrote on this blog that ivan was my favorite. reading that book, i would completely enter the state of mind that was depicted there. it was marvelous and not many authors do that to me. just dostoevsky and murakami and john irving in a widow for one year.

but, what has me thinking about dostoevsky is also the way in which he wrote the brothers k. on tight deadlines, in serial form. publishing it practically as he wrote each chapter (without the aid of spell-check and word and blogger). weaving a complex plot as he went along, but each installment being published in a newspaper, so no revising or going back and adding some new plot element. he was under pressure, eternally in need of money and that manic state of mind he must have himself been in shines through and pulls you in.

imagine what dostoevsky would have done in the blogosphere...

10 comments:

hele said...

Imagine dostoevsky and tolstoy commenting on each other's blogs.

julochka said...

now THAT would be something to behold...

Relyn said...

How can I not be in love with a blogger who can use the word febrile, not once but twice in one post. Plus, such a wonderful thought. Now I am off on a tangent imagining all my favorite authors as bloggers.

julochka said...

hi relyn-thank you, i was a little worried about that. i used careening twice as well. :-) but dostoevsky just makes you febrile, it's just the best way to describe it. :-)

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Your musing about Dostoevsky's process for Brothers Karamozov, his manic state, being forced to let his words go out into the world without agonizing over whether there were imperfections....... wow, do I need a BIG dose of what he had. Blogging flows and is curiously both intimate and impersonal; writing a book -- letting the words settle on a page and stay there, no matter how they are received in the world, no matter how people perceive you, gives new meaning to "challenge."

julochka said...

meri--i think you put what i alluded to MUCH better than i did. :-) thank you!

Gorilla Bananas said...

I wouldn't have read his blog. Like most Russians, he was a gloomy bugger.

willow said...

He would most likely have a very dark and quirkly blog, never commenting on others, I imagine. But wouldn't those great genius writers be totally amazed at the broad forum available today?!

Michelle said...

A blog by Dostoevsky? hmmm. That's one heck of a thought there....I wonder what kind of photos he would take?

Kip de Moll said...

I'm mad about Doestey, definitely a genious. Actually, he did a lot of planning for the Brother's K, filling journals over a year or 2 to work out the themes.
Funny that you group him with John Irving who also pulls me right in!
Happy travels!