Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Underground

The pensive looking fellow above is one Fyodor Dostoyevsky, born this day 1821 in Moscow, Russia. If you read at all you will be familiar with his works, Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov are the most famous of his works. Probably my favourite work of his is the Notes from the Underground it has been called "the best overture for existentialism that has ever been written." That is high praise, and very important to a person such as myself. Because as of this morning (when I realized it fully, even though I think it has been festering a while), I am going through a deep existential crisis of my own. Perhaps I should go back and find my copy of the "Notes" and figure out what to do about it, or if I can do anything about it at all. That is the problem with existential crisis they seems to have a great deal of staying power. I wish good, old Fyodor was alive and kicking, since he is considered one of the best psychologists in world literature, maybe he could help. I believe that I have identified the problem, which is according to logic, the first step to solving the problem. In many ways Fyodor is the "literary father" of this blog, and one of my favourite characters in literature is Ivan Karamazov, for reasons that I will explain one day, but I do not wish to end up like poor Ivan, mad as a hatter and unable to function in the real world. Of course the nom de plume that I write under is shamelessly stolen from The Brothers Karamazov, and for that I am grateful. Any man would could write that chapter on the Grand Inquisitor is a fucking genius. I am not qualified to sort through all of Dostoyevsky's life there is a great three volume biography of him that does that, I am just merely a great admirer of his work. Even Crime and Punishment is fucking fantastic, and it has been done to death since he wrote it. There is an excellent French film called "The Pickpocket" which is basically Crime and Punishment "redux", and it is highly recommended. I wonder if a little exile to Siberia (maybe in the more figurative sense) would do me some good. Not sure how much good it did Fyodor. It also seems that he suffered from being a compulsive gambler, Crime and Punishment was written in a great hurry to obtain an advance from his publisher because he had left himself penniless after a bad gambling spree. Is there any other kind of gambling spree, but bad? Have you ever known anyone to go on a gambling "spree" and come back loaded down with buckets of cash? I guess he was a bit like most gamblers, we all take a "wait and hope" approach. Waiting for that one big score that will make us even, or make us our fortune, and hoping like hell that it about to happen on this hand of cards, this roll of the die, or this horse who can surely outrun all those other horses. It is arrant nonsense of course, very rarely do the cards fall our way enough to secure our nest egg, the dice do not fly high enough to pay off all the debts we have, and allow us to retire to the south of France to live a life of leisure. As I mentioned early I could use Fyodor here to help me out of the crisis that I am currently facing. It seems that I am only smart enough to realize, or create my crisis, but just not smart enough to either solve it, or realize that it has no solution, and move on with my day to day life without concerning myself with it again. Perhaps that is the nature of existentialism, to constantly be in crisis about existing. If so, I really need to find the key, or the plan out of this fucking madhouse maze, and soon. All of this whining has clearly detracted from the importance of this day, other than being Veteran's Day it has other significance in my life that is best left unexplored, but the most important thing is that is Fyodor's day. So, for writing reams and reams of some of the best fucking literature you ever want to read, and creating the character I stole my title from, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (November 11th-1821- February 9th 1881, at the age of 59 from a lung hemorrhage), you are my hero of the day.

1 comment:

Cynnie said...

that was honestly beautiful :)