Dostoevsky’s “Demons” Is a Novel for Our Times

By |2021-03-15T14:26:15-05:00March 15th, 2021|Categories: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Books, Ideology, Politics|

Dostoevsky’s “Demons” remains relevant more than a century after it was written as it invites readers to a melancholy symphony of self-reflection. The novel’s flailing revolutionaries are not caricatures of archaic belief systems but embody the very structure of human conflict. Dark, funny, and frenetic, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons is a startlingly accurate portrayal of possession [...]

Time for the Theological Virtues

By |2021-01-19T11:38:06-06:00January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Time|

The desire to know the future is so human, but if we consistently knew the future with calculable certainty, this would lead to damaging behavior, darkness, and dehumanization. What, then, are we to do with this human desire to see what is to come? Wanting to know the future is a natural human desire. We [...]

Puddleglum, Jeremy Bentham, & the Grand Inquisitor

By |2020-11-28T06:58:11-06:00November 28th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Dwight Longenecker, Freedom, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Happiness, Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors|

The aim and ambition of Jeremy Bentham was that everyone would be happy. But how is it possible for everyone to be happy? The Grand Inquisitor gives the answer: by yielding their freedom and submitting to their overlords. This is the dysfunctional and distorted psychology behind the entitlement culture and the welfare state. When on [...]

“Notes from Underground” in Lockdown and Isolation

By |2020-06-10T22:57:21-05:00June 10th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Coronavirus, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature|

The fear of the coronavirus allows our governing bodies to keep us in isolation and the consequences of our permitting this act are more pernicious than we can imagine. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” has never appeared less fictional. And why are you so firmly, so triumphantly, convinced that only the normal and the positive—in [...]

A Reflection on the Resurrection of the Superfluous Man

By |2019-12-07T03:11:19-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Character, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Imagination, Literature, Russia|

Russia’s nineteenth-century literary luminaries all found themselves wrestling with a particularly Romantic archetype: the Superfluous Man. Bored, confused, dissolute, yet noble and aristocratic, the Superfluous Man experiences tragedy in his reckless pursuit of passion. And I can’t help but wonder whether there is any hope for these characters—both the Russians in the novels, and the [...]

Great Books I Wouldn’t Want to Be In (And Some I Would!)

By |2021-04-22T18:12:42-05:00April 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Books, Homer, Jane Austen, Mark Twain|

It is interesting that at least half the great books I considered for this list were stories I would not want to enter, but loved reading. Literature allows us to gain a breadth of experience our own circumstances would not permit and at very little expense to us… If there’s something book lovers like almost [...]

“The Brothers Karamazov” and the Power of Memory

By |2020-06-12T10:21:09-05:00August 3rd, 2018|Categories: Baseball, Family, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Great Books, Literature|

Strong memories—of good times, of challenges met, of shaping experiences commonly shared—are the critical foundation of a good and meaningful life, particularly if you are young. Cherished memories of days passed can spur us on, can exhort us, and can motivate us when our own days seem dark and unendurable. On my desk sits a [...]

The Problem of Theocracy in The Brothers Karamazov

By |2018-07-09T12:25:35-05:00July 5th, 2018|Categories: Books, Fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Political Philosophy, Religion|

It is through Ivan’s representation of Soloviev in The Brothers Karamazov that Dostoevsky unearths the grave implications and outcomes of totalitarian politics… Fyodor Dostoevsky’s final novel, The Brothers Karamazov, has rightly earned its place among the greatest books of all time. It warrants this stature in no small part because it addresses questions and problems [...]

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