Week three, oh yeah. I started writing a new story this weekend, and more exhilarating than simply starting a story, today I mapped out a timeline of events and some character bios. I haven’t done that since the last story I finished.
Man, I keep treating this blog like a diary. Still not well acclimated to the blog format. Moving forward, I should come prepared on Mondays with a discussion topic or something, otherwise this whole site is just going to fill up with my personal prattlings-on.
I guess as my last weird diary post, I’ll just outline some other things that have been going on in my life. I started that story, which was pretty huge. In that same vein, I did a lot of critical thinking on my relationship to reading and writing, which started during a conversation with my fiancee where she asked me if I love to write or love to think of myself as a writer. It was a good question, and one that I’ve thought about a lot over the last couple years of not writing. I’m certain, however, that I love to write. It’s hard, and it can be absolutely devastating at times—you can fall in and out of love and hate with yourself in the matter of minutes, thinking yourself a phony and a thinker all at once, but I do love it and will keep doing it for the rest of my life.
So I figured that stuff out. I also read a bunch more of Karamazov, finally reaching the “Rebellion” chapter that my soon-to-be little brother-in-law kept wanting me to read before he convinced me to just read the whole book. Really poignant, descriptive discussion on the horrors that God must allow in the world if (s)he exists, and if (s)he does exist, nobody should worship or even like him/her. Definitely changed my opinion on the brother Ivan, who I had so far thought less interesting than Alexei and Dmitri.
On that note, this week’s quote will be from that chapter, and a bit longer than usual.
Quote of the Week
They must be atoned for, or there can be no harmony. But how? How are you going to atone for them? Is it possible? By their being avenged? But what do I care for avenging them? What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price. I don’t want the mother to embrace the oppressor who threw her son to the dogs! She dare not forgive him! Let her forgive him for herself, if she will, let her forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering of her mother’s heart. But the sufferings of her tortured child she has no right to forgive; she dare not forgive the torturer, even if the child were to forgive him! And if that is so, if they dare not forgive, what becomes of harmony? Is there in the whole world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don’t want harmony. From love for humanity I don’t want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it’s beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It’s not God that I don’t accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket.”
—Fyodor Dostoevsky, “Rebellion”, Part II, Book V, Chapter 4 of The Brothers Karamazov
Awesome chapter. There’s way more quote-worthy stuff in not just this chapter, but this whole book. Would recommend, and maybe that should be my topic of discussion for next week, or maybe evey week until I finish this tome.