What the hell? After basically nothing happening in Books I and II, suddenly everything has happened, and I have no idea what any of it was. Yes, I complained that nothing much was happening yesterday, but now stuff is moving–at an incredible rate–and I’m having problems keeping up. Fiancés, lovers, drunk fathers, impetuous sons, deaf mutes, dead six-fingered babies, cat-torturing chefs, atheism, asceticism, a dying monk, secret love letters, bribery, prostitution, loan sharking, shortcuts through people’s backyards, jealousy, rape, emotional payback, shame, burgeoning murder plots. This book went from several extended discourses on the role of religion in state affairs straight into a trashy-ass 19th Century Russian reality TV show littered with terrible people*, all in the space of about 50 pages! Goddamnit, I can’t keep any of this straight.
Now would probably be the time to start quoting David Foster Wallace’s essay, “Joseph Frank’s Dostoevsky,” but it seems my copy of Consider The Lobster has been lent out to someone.
*Fuck Alyosha and Zosima. I’m not buying what Dostoevsky is selling here: these “heroes” of the novel are 100% milquetoast.