And where did all these sages get the idea that man needs some normal, some virtuous wanting? What made them necessarily imagine that what man needs is necessarily a reasonably profitable wanting? Man needs only independent wanting, whatever this independence may cost and wherever it may lead.
Notes from Underground · Fyodor Dostoevsky · 1864
Pevear and Volokhonsky translation · Vintage, 1994 · 136 pages, paperback
With Notes from Underground, first published in 1864, Fyodor Dostoevsky picked up an axe of condemnation and swung—hard. Hard against an imposed ideal, hard against a code of right and wrong in human feeling, hard against the presumption that reason could dictate desire.
Dostoevsky tells us that not only is man inherently flawed but he is flawed because he wills himself to be so. Continue reading
The backlog for reviews is…
Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
City of Glass, Paul Auster
The Long Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul
…makes me blush.
I have, however, nearly finished my review of the Dostoevsky and plan to have it up by Sunday, late; if you can quick read Orwell’s 1984 before then it may serve you well.
Added to UFC and Irish whiskey under the category of things I never would have pegged myself for: 1930s crime novels.
The other reviews I’ve not yet started and may need a bit of time to page through each of the books, reacquaint myself with their characters, with the authors’ writing and with the feel of the books themselves.
I will tell you this, though: not one of these six disappointed. I also learned that I will eat up anything written by Raymond Chandler, whose Big Sleep led me to purchase three more of his novels. Hint: his work is like Dirty Harry-style cop drama but as 1930s crime novels!
Reviews aside…currently reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.
What are you reading?