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Posts tagged "Fyodor Dostoevsky"

Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

Memories from the Future: A Word on Abandoned Houses, Nostalgia, and the Hope of the World

Grateful for this incredible piece by Nate Mills: When I was 3 or 4 I had an apocalyptic vision. It may not have been as otherworldly as the Ancient of Days appearing in resplendent glory like in Daniel 7, but it was unmistakably surreal. My family was taking a road trip from our home in […]

<i>The Idiot</i> Redux

The Idiot Redux

Elif Batuman takes the title of her first novel, The Idiot, from a Dostoevsky classic. Her young protagonist, Selin, mirrors the innocent Prince Myshkin of the Russian novel. Although an allusion to that giant makes Batuman’s literary ambitions clear, for her sharp narrator, the title may be too self-deprecating. Selin’s a Turkish-American student starting at […]

Another Week Ends: Amy Chua's Three Traits for Success, Nietzsche's Subversion of Atheism, Why Fun Is Fun, The Eighth-Grade Ubermensch, Dostoevsky's Internet Anxiety and Lena Dunham's Eden

Another Week Ends: Amy Chua’s Three Traits for Success, Nietzsche’s Subversion of Atheism, Why Fun Is Fun, The Eighth-Grade Ubermensch, Dostoevsky’s Internet Anxiety and Lena Dunham’s Eden

1. What happens when you combine an unshakeable superiority complex with deep insecurity? Probably a nervous breakdown in mid-life, or Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan. But Amy Chua (of “Tiger Mother” fame) asks us to guess again. The real answer is… success. For those unfamiliar with her work on hyper-controlling parenting (using that adjective as value-neutrally as possible), it’s […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Joshua Chapter Six Verses Fifteen through Twenty Five

Hopelessly Devoted: Joshua Chapter Six Verses Fifteen through Twenty Five

This morning’s Hopelessly comes from the one and only Bryan Jarrell. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, […]

John Gray and the Politics of Grace

John Gray and the Politics of Grace

“To think that human beings are freedom-loving, you have to be ready to view nearly all of history as a mistake.” So says pessimistic philosopher John Gray, in his wonderful recent book The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths. If it’s already beginning to sound a bit glum, well, he can’t really […]

Dostoevsky Talks Romans 7, Original Caprice, and Performancism

Dostoevsky Talks Romans 7, Original Caprice, and Performancism

From his Notes from Underground, in which the great Russian author’s disturbed protagonist questions ideals of human progress, enlightenment, secular humanism, and other naïvetés of the nineteenth century – but timeless, too: But these are all golden dreams. Oh, tell me, who first announced, who was the first to proclaim that man does dirty only because […]

Religious Facts and the Difference Between a Crime and a Sin

Religious Facts and the Difference Between a Crime and a Sin

More thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ: The central discovery… for Dostoevsky was his realization that sin was not primarily a moral, but a religious fact. Sin did not consist in the mere violation of a law or transgression of a […]

The Element In Man For Which Moralism Cannot Account

The Element In Man For Which Moralism Cannot Account

Some germane thoughts from the late Jaroslav Pelikan, taken from the “Dostoevsky: The Holy and the Good” chapter of Fools for Christ, ht CB: Wherever Christianity is viewed as a quiet submission to traditional patterns of conduct and an acceptance of social convention, there will be no appreciation of the atheism of Ivan Karamazov. His […]

Another Week Ends: Manti Te'o, More Humblebragging, Russian <i>Arrested Development</i>, Pauline Economists, Pentecostal Megan Fox, Don't Label Me and Shaking Caricatures

Another Week Ends: Manti Te’o, More Humblebragging, Russian Arrested Development, Pauline Economists, Pentecostal Megan Fox, Don’t Label Me and Shaking Caricatures

1. Some of the biggest news this week was Notre Dame quarterback Manti Te’o’s girlfriend – the one he had reportedly visited between games, who was sick and eventually died of leukemia – turning out to be a hoax. It was one of the most inspirational and heart-rending stories of the 2012 college football season and […]

Marilynne Robinson on the Great Problem of Christianity and the Failure of Russia and Mississippi

Marilynne Robinson on the Great Problem of Christianity and the Failure of Russia and Mississippi

If in good conscience I could reproduce the entirety of Marilynne Robinson’s beautiful recent piece on the Bible for the NY Times Book Review, “The Book of Books,” I would. Instead, a few paragraphs will have to suffice. If you happened to read it when it appeared a few days before Christmas, you’ll know what […]

Mockingbird at the Movies: The Holy Foolishness of <i>Our Idiot Brother</i>

Mockingbird at the Movies: The Holy Foolishness of Our Idiot Brother

Who can deny Paul Rudd? Even The A/V Club’s unfavorable take on the new film Our Idiot Brother, recently out on DVD, is less a knock on the film itself as it is a disappointment that no one really could keep up with Rudd and his charisma: “Rudd ably carries the film while retaining a […]

Bible Bible On The Wall, Who's The Fairest of Them All?

Bible Bible On The Wall, Who’s The Fairest of Them All?

A provocative article appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education recently, “The Bible Is Dead; Long Live The Bible” in which professor Timothy Beal makes a revealing if unorthodox case for the Bible. Essentially, he defends it by not defending it. Or, rather, he claims from the outset that: The Bible is anything but univocal […]