Karamazov

by Nic Olson

And on non-game days, it is rock bottom.

I finished this book. It only took me two tries and four months total. It was in mint condition when I took it from Anna’s book collection, and now it is shredded. It was more like a challenge to myself, than it was for pure enjoyment. I did, however, appreciate the book and the time I spent with it. The angst, great. It was a challenge to myself, to finish a book that I had no real motivation to read, other than to broaden my personal library as well as my personal vocabulary, because I am not one to finish things properly.

The book deeply described the lives of three brothers Karamazov and their affairs leading up to the murder of their father, Fyodor. The murder was apparent parricide; Dmitri, the eldest of the brothers was convicted of the murder, although there was never clear proof if it was him, or their illegitimate brother Smerdyakov. Alexei, the youngest, was studying in the monastery. Ivan, by the end of the book, had suffered so much mental anguish that he had become insane. Throughout the read, I constantly tried to connect myself to one of the brothers Karamazov; the murderer, the saint, or the one with ‘brain fever’.

I contemplated this at midnight last night, when, after laying in bed for over an hour, I got up to satisfy my hunger pangs by boiling some cabbage and drinking the broth. I sat in my underwear at the kitchen table, delicately salting each piece of floppy cabbage as though it were a high class dish for a royal family. I didn’t even buy the cabbage. It was going to be thrown out, so it was given to me. I slurped the sweet stock of the cabbage and imagined my life on the streets, because I couldn’t pay rent next month. And then I realized that I could be none of the brothers Karamazov, because no story could be written about my life. I am no saint, I am no murderer, but I am inching closer and closer to brain fever. My life has had no crest, barely any rising action. All denouement and no climax.

‘ “He doesn’t despise any one,” Alyosha went on. “Only he does not believe any one. If he doesn’t believe in people, of course, he does despise them.” ‘

‘ “No, it’s not funny; you are wrong there. There’s nothing funny in nature, however funny it may seem to man with his prejudices. If dogs could reason and criticise us they’d be sure to find just as much that would be funny to them, if not far more, in the social relations of men, their masters – far more indeed. I repeat that, because I am convinced that there is far more foolishness among us.” ‘

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