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Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel

Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
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    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304


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mej1960 has commented on (1) product.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Pevear and Volokhonsky)
The Brothers Karamazov

mej1960, September 21, 2009

The book is great, the translation is amazing, but I have to wonder if the reviewer read it him/herself!

Why? Because the reviewer sees 'irreverence' where there is clearly none.

There is and there could be no 'irreverence' towards the Orthodox Church in late Dostoevsky. By this time in his life, he was, on the contrary, very reverent towards the Church.

Perhaps what the reviewer mistook for irreverence was his stark realism, sparing the reader none of the shock at the insanity of Fr. Ferapont, or at the factions within the monastery. Or perhaps he confused the author's viewpoint with that of some of the characters, since all the Karamazov's were irreverent to the Church, except for Alyosha (of course: yet even he has a 'dark night of the soul').

Or is it that the reviewer confused this dark night with irreverence? If so, then it is not just Dostoevsky he has failed to understand, it is not just St. John of the Cross the reviewer has failed to understand, but also the Russian understanding of the Book of Job, which was very important to all of Dostoevsky's work.

But in any case, his reverence should have been crystal clear from his description of the life and achievements of Elder Zosima, who was patterned after real Elders at Optina.
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