THINKING ABOUT DOSTOEVSKY
Coherence and consistency of beliefs is a complex phenomenon. Dostoevsky was capable of experiencing in complete comfort two contradictory feelings at one and the same time. This doubleness can be a torment, though, or a joy. This was why he had a certain antipathy for one-track practical minds. Art helped him achieve a synthesis, a unity of contradictories: especially his novels. That is why he writes as one finding himself, not out of a fullness of a completed experience.
-A. Boyce Gibson, The Religion of Dostoevsky, SCM Press, London, 1973.
The hardest thing in the world to cure is hurt pride, for it is so often all that the victim has left to him, and to remove it, even by foregiveness, would be to extinguish with it his whole being.
-A. Boyce Gibson, The Religion of Dostoevsky, SCM Press, London, 1973, p.20.
Much on earth is hidden from us, but to make up for that we have been given a precious mystic sense of our living bond with the other world...the roots of our thoughts and feelings are not here but in other worlds.
-Dostoevsky quoted in ibid., p.198.
There is a certain tension that inhabits
brain and brawn, sometimes thereís a
blackness; sometimes itís like the dawn.
It makes me crave for solitude or hunger
for a friend; to have both feelings all at
once requires some contortion, but after
more than thirty years one learns to play
with the emotion. A certain impetuosity
and premature decision must be tenderly
controlled and watched with some precision.
I tend to think Iím free, quite free, of the
problems raised by pride. But my thoughts
here are not absolute and Iíd like to bring
this question back again one day to my side.
As far as the other world is concerned,
I seize it whole in both my hands
whenever I feel its mystic beauty.
But itís elusive at its best and Iím not
so sure my ear can hear its purest notes
when my ear is on duty.
16 January 1996