Thursday, October 15, 2015

To read him is like encountering the wild elephant.  He was a nervous person.  Fits of epilepsy would not have helped.   He'd tend to rise at one in the afternoon, engage with his family and business, and then, at night, he would sit at his writing desk, the house and the city and the world quiet, asleep, and he would write.  He was capable of long paragraphs, of an oral history that still lived and could be transcribed, as if he'd listened to a world of story tellers and let himself remember each note.  The Karamazov chapters on the life of the Elder Zosima reveal the oral history, the sometimes dream-like fable, necessary to tell in explaining our human existence here on two feet with heads on our shoulders.

Take Alyosha leaving the monastery, after his dream.  Slow simple language, speaking of his touching the earth to rise and follow the terms of his elder, to go 'sojourn in the world.'

Where did he come up with it all?  How could one of us approach his achievement?

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