Wednesday, September 9, 2009

wisdom from elder zosima

i'm struggling mightily through the brothers karamazov. i know, i know: it's a classic, everyone loves it, etcetera. but, wow. i think i used to be smart...but sometimes i wonder.

these bits, however, got me thinking today:

elder zosima speaking about isolation:
That which is now reigning everywhere, especially in our age, but it is not all concluded yet, its term has not come. For everyone now strives most of all to separate his person, wishing to experience the fullness of life within himself, and yet what comes of all his efforts is not the fullness of life but full suicide, for instead of the fullness of self-definition, they fall into complete isolation. For all men in our age are separated into units, each seeks seclusion in his own hole, each withdraws from the others, hides himself, and hides what he has, and ends by pushing himself away from people and pushing people away from himself.

and the elder on hell:
Fathers and teachers, I ask myself: "What is hell?" And I answer thus: "The suffering of being no longer able to love."


TwoSquareMeals said...

I'm struggling through it, too, and wondering what happened to the academic I once was...Maybe we should get together for coffee and/or dessert and chat about it in an attempt to get our brains going again. There are so many lovely little tidbits in it, anyway.

Rebecca said...

And I would say to you both that you ARE intelligent. It isn't you.

Not that I can really make any definitive statements on Dostoevsky....

It took me a year to read it. That's all I'm saying.