Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Long-Pegged

“The fact that Sir Simon Jenkins hates the great Russian novelist [Dostoevsky] is also a major reason for thinking that he [the great Russian novelist] has something worth saying.” [1]

It may be added that Sir Simon and his kind are unlikely to look benignly upon a writer who had them pegged long before they were born — a writer who wrote of indulgence born of fear and cowardice: fear of taking responsibility, fear of appearing out of step with the times, fear of appearing authoritarian in opposition to prevailing liberal slogans, fear at last of what is unleashed in a younger generation; and cowardice in the face of it all.

[1] Michael Burleigh, “What can we learn from Dostoevsky about terrorism?”, Standpoint Online, 18th August 2008.

11 comments:

dearieme said...

I've been saving the Russian novelists for my retirement. Or its first winter perhaps. This summer, so-called, I thought I'd re-read Wuthering Heights, only to discover that I hadn't read it before. I stand amazed that it hasn't been banned as anti-Gypsy propaganda.

Deogolwulf said...

I am not much of a novel-reader, but I make an exception for the Russkies, especially for dearly beloved Dostoevsky.

I haven't read Wuthering Heights; do you recommend that I do so?

"I stand amazed that it hasn't been banned as anti-Gypsy propaganda."

Give it time, Dearieme, and they might do something worse: expurgate it.

dearieme said...

"I haven't read Wuthering Heights; do you recommend that I do so?"

Nope: rather girly, but not in a Jane Austen way.

I plan to continue my campaign of reading novels I know I've read just to see if I really have. Next, Jane Eyre.

This is distinct from my experience of re-reading a novel that I really had read before, only to decide that I can't understand what I saw in it the first time. Example: Middlemarch.

Pietr said...

For me it is Russian music.

Pietr said...

By which I mean I love listening to it.

dearieme said...

If Putin gets his way there will soon be more Russian music. Chopin.

pietr said...

If that happens I'll start a charity to raise funds for the 'Cursed Soldiers'.

Recusant said...

Oh bugger. I go away for a couple of weeks and return to find you've written a comment on Sir Simon, The Chief Whig himself.

Has there ever been a more self-satisfied, misanthropic and cowardly natured individual. He, like the Blessed Polly, the Fatuous Heffer and the Ludicrous Hutton, is one of my lodestars. Wherever they point, I head in the opposite direction. It's worked so far.

Deogolwulf said...

Lovely chap, isn't he?

Underground Dude said...

I can really appreciate this. In my country, some cretins say that Dostoevsky is an adolescent writer. Well, at least one specific cretin said that. And guess who was his favourite writer? J.D. Salinger.

Deogolwulf said...

Yes, that says much.