Meeting Dostoevsky

Every time I open that last book of his, he tells me that before I go any further, I must submit to the lens of the only beautiful type of suicide, the kind that brings life. The epigraph to The Brothers Karamazov  frames what’s to come in the words spoken and incarnated by Christ: thatContinue reading “Meeting Dostoevsky”

Dead Poets Society, Russian Style

Before the semester started, I was told that I could teach one course on anything I wanted to. Although the possibility to teach “anything” seems nice at first glance, the vagueness really wasn’t helpful in narrowing down ideas, and I was glad to get advice from other teachers during our Moscow conference on what topic might beContinue reading “Dead Poets Society, Russian Style”

A Rant on Poetry

I’ll never forget the smug cynicism I felt last spring when my professor handed us Ezra Pound’s poem “Papyrus.” The poem is as follows: Spring . . . . . . . Too long . . . . . . Gongula . . . . . . I quickly scribbled my own version to showContinue reading “A Rant on Poetry”

If the Master and Margarita had a Sequel

Last night, I finally hit the halfway mark in the first full-length classic I have attempted to read in the original, Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita! (Well, I actually attempted The Brothers Karamazov last summer, but that turned out to be way above my level at the time.) I first became enamored with the bookContinue reading “If the Master and Margarita had a Sequel”

To Be Too Conscious

 “I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness — a real thorough-going illness.” –The Underground Man, Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky. There is truth in the words of the Underground Man; over-consciousness can drive us to despair, to depression, to step heavily through each day to the beat of Ecclesiastes’ moansContinue reading “To Be Too Conscious”