Thursday, Jul. 01, 2010

Sharon Pomerantz

Author of Rich Boy suggests:
I've spent the past month slowly making my way through the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I read the Constance Garnett translation more than 20 years ago and was awed by how Dostoyevsky, born half a century before Freud, was able to describe things like the Oedipus complex, sexual compulsions and perversions and the ultimate dysfunctional family. But I don't remember seeing the comedy in the novel the way I do now. I think that's partly due to the gifts of Pevear and Volokhonsky and partly because I've lightened up a bit since then. At 20, I related most to Alexei, who won't rebel against God but won't accept his world either. This probably says something about growing older and trying to accept my own unresolved conflicts and desires, but I now find the extremely flawed, passionate, profligate Dmitri the most relatable and the easiest Karamazov to love.