Revelations from ‘The Brothers Karamazov’: Smerdyakov was christened as ‘Paul’

And Martha brought up the boy. They christened him Paul and registered his patronymic as Fyodorovich as a matter of course, without asking anyone’s permission. Fyodor Karamazov did not object to this; in fact, he found it rather amusing. And later he called him Smerdyakov—the Reeking One—from his mother’s nickname—Lizaveta Smerdyashchaya, Reeking Lizaveta. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Fyodor Dostoevsky’s …

The Karamazovs on Stage: A Study in Goffman’s Dramaturgical Perspective

Individuals are engaged in a constant process of positioning themselves in relation to one another. Erving Goffman, “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life”. Erving Goffman’s work on the presentation of self in everyday life can provide valuable insights into the characters of Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. In his book, “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life,” Goffman argues that individuals …

The Depths of the Human Condition: A Comparative Study of Ivan and Zosima with Nietzsche’s Zarathustra and Camus’ Meursault

In Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov,” the characters of Ivan and Zosima represent two different perspectives on the human condition. Ivan, with his strong intellect and reason, struggles with the idea of a God who allows for the suffering of innocent people. He ultimately rejects the idea of God and religion, leading to feelings of isolation and despair. On the other …

From Isolation to Connection: The Role of Active Love in The Brothers Karamazov

Active love is a powerful tool that can help us to overcome emotional obstacles and build stronger relationships. It is about making a conscious effort to reach out to others, even when we don’t feel like it, and being open to receiving love in return. In the novel “The Brothers Karamazov,” the character of Alyosha serves as a powerful example …

Brothers Karamazov as an allegory with three levels

As someone fascinated by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, I often find myself thinking about the various ways in which this timeless novel can be interpreted and understood. One approach that has struck me as particularly interesting is the idea of approaching the novel on three distinct levels, as proposed by Russian poet and critic Viacheslav Ivanov. This means we …

From Socrates to Father Zosima: The Importance of Being True to Oneself and avoiding bullshitting (yes, a cognitive term)

For centuries, people have been debating the concept of being a “bullshitter.” Harry Frankfurt’s book “On Bullshit” finally gave a deeper exploration into this idea, defining it as someone who isn’t concerned with truth or falsehood, but simply with impressing or manipulating their audience. This emphasis on outward presentation can have various damaging outcomes. Socrates and Father Zosima, two figures …

The Paradox of Free Will: Peter Watt’s “Blindsight” and the Human Condition

An electrifying science fiction novel, “Blindsight”, by Peter Watts, delves deep into the murky depths of consciousness, free will, and the meaning of existence. A group of scientists embarks on a quest to contact an alien species known as the “Others”. With each step, they come closer to grappling with the essential question: Is consciousness the essential ingredient for free …

The Vampire’s Perspective: The link between Schopenhauer and the sci-fi vampire commander Jukka Sarasti

In Peter Watt’s novel, “Blindsight,” the subspecies known as “vampires” stand in contrast to regular humans. They possess enhanced intelligence, physical abilities, and a hunger to understand the world around them. They are the evolved version of Homo Sapiens, making one question the nature of humanity and our potential for evolution. This portrayal aligns with the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, …

The Brothers Karamazov and existential philosophy

The Brothers Karamazov is a philosophical masterpiece that invites readers to consider some of the most fundamental questions of the human experience. Written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, the novel is a nuanced and deeply moving exploration of themes such as the nature of faith, the existence of God, and the search for meaning. At the heart of the novel are the …