Skip to content

Tag Archives: Dostoevsky

Apologia Pro Carolo Gustavo Jung.


There are some rules in the intellectual world which are pretty reliable for detecting bloviating stupidity, or blathering solipsism (or however you want to render b.s.), and one of them is this: if someone launches a five-thousand word attack on a noted author, and never once quotes a single line from the voluminous works of […]

The God of Happiness.


There is an essay about this topic, and Dostoevsky its prophet: “For we are made for happiness, and any one who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, ‘I am doing God’s will on earth.’ All the righteous, all the saints, all the holy martyrs were happy.”

Christopher Hitchens, Religions, and Life Without God.


I’ve been impressed recently by the intelligence, articulateness, and unapologetically rakish character of Christopher Hitchens, and curiosity about and respect for the man prompted me to take a look at the fashionable atheist books of the day, beginning with his God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.  As is always the case with modern […]

Petrified Song.


A strange couplet quoted by Kerouac and ascribed to Mountain Man Jim Bridger: “I saw a petrified bird in a petrified tree, Singing his petrified song.” It reminds me of the parody of Vergil – the complete text of which I cannot find – by Charles Perrault.  It is quoted by Dostoevsky in the The […]

From Dostoevsky.


The conclusions of one of the revolutionaries in Demons: “I got entangled in my own data, and my conclusion directly contradicts the original idea I start out from.  Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism.  I will add, however, that apart from my solution to the social problem, there is no other.”

Chill Winds Still Blow, by Alexander Pushkin


A literal translation of the poem mentioned so often in The Brothers Karamazov, source of the phrase “sticky little leaves.”  Translation by Stephen Boykewich. The cold winds are still blowing And carrying the morning frost. The first little flowers Have just appeared through the spring thaw holes, As though from some miraculous, waxy kingdom, The […]

Kerouac, the unideal husband.


Kerouac’s first marriage: he married a girl and moved out to Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and worked at his father-in-law’s ball-bearings factory.  It lasted two months: At home Edie and her mother, anxious to see Jack as a competent husband, were alarmed that he spent most of his free time in the bathroom, reading Shakespeare and […]

Carl Jung.


“My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.” – Carl Jung An old paperback I possess advertises its author thus: “Doctor and scientist, visionary and thinker, Carl Jung ranks with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud as one of the great minds of the twentieth century.”  […]

The Allusions in the Brothers Karamazov.


Let me start with the end of the first chapter of The Brothers Karamazov: Finally she fled the house and ran away from Fyodor Pavlovich with a destitute seminarian, leaving the three-year-old Mitya in his father’s hands.  Fyodor Pavlovich immediately set up a regular harem in his house and gave himself to the most unbridled […]

Christmas with Fyodor.


“You asked just now if there is in the whole world a being who could and would have the right to forgive.  But there is such a being, and he can forgive everything, forgive all and for all, because he himself gave his innocent blood for all and for everything…and it is to him that […]