The #KaramazovReadalong – Nearly Time To Get Reading!

“Everything is like an ocean, everything flows and intermingles, you have only to touch it in one place and it will reverberate in another part of the world.” 

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Karamazov Brothers (tr Avsey)

When I launched the #KaramazovReadlong a few weeks ago with my dear friends Becky and Elisabeth, the start date of 27 July seemed very distant. And yet, all of a sudden, here we are with just a few days to go before we start reading together.

The idea for this reading project came after I completed a readalong for Dante’s The Divine Comedy. I never expected to be able to read that book all the way through, and it inspired me to think about reading Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, another long book which has always seemed too intimidating to even start.

It has been wonderful to see all the positive messages about the Karamazov Readalong, and to have so many people saying that they plan to join in. It’s going to be quite a party! For anyone still in doubt about whether this is for them, I thought I would share a few thoughts and reflections from my Dante experience which might help with tackling The Brothers Karamazov:

  • Ignore the footnotes and endnotes at will! When I first started reading The Divine Comedy, I paused to read every endnote, but soon realised that this was hampering my overall reading experience. In my version of TBK (the Avsey translation), there are two endnote markers even before you get past the first word in the first paragraph which could well be off-putting. Feel free to read on past the markers if you wish.
  • Read at your own pace. The readalong will proceed at a chapter a day (I have created a schedule which you can use to track progress – see link at the foot of this post). But this does not mean that you have to read at the same speed. When I read The Divine Comedy, there were a few times where I was not able to read for a day, or a couple of days. It doesn’t matter and please don’t let this put you off from joining the readalong at points which suit you.
  • I’ll be tweeting a quote from each chapter every day (I am @LizzieHumphreys on Twitter). It’ll be great if other participants do the same – it’s so interesting to see what has caught the eye of different readers. Feel free also to share pictures, articles, thoughts – anything you like really! It all adds to the sense of community. But don’t feel under pressure to tweet every day (or indeed at all) unless you want to.
  • In case it helps to know how I will be structuring my tweets, it will be along the lines of: [“Today’s Quote” BkX/ChY tr Avsey] but you can choose any format that suits you.
  • Please use the hashtag #KaramazovReadalong for anything you post so that we can all find whatever you a sharing.

I would also urge you to watch this lovely short film by Becky in which she talks more about the readalong. How can you resist? 😉

On Location Simon Fraser University from Rebecca Budd aka Clanmother on Vimeo.

20 thoughts on “The #KaramazovReadalong – Nearly Time To Get Reading!

  1. A rather big book, what a wonderful challenge and idea. I was watching the video of Rebecca and I totally loved that music in the background, perfect. I wonder if Rebecca reads it if she can let me know what it was. 🙂
    Have fun with your read along !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ute! The citation for the music on Becky’s Vimeo site is: “Music by Johannes Bornlof, “Let’s Run Away Together” Epidemic Sound” but I am sure Becky will add more info if there is any. X

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Ute. When I was thinking of creating videos, I looked for music that was in the public domain. Instead, I found this amazing website – Epidemic Sound, which has over 30,000 files of music that spans from classical to jazz, Celtic to country. To use this music, I have a creator license, which means I can publish on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram etc without receiving a take-down order. As well, I wanted to give back to these artists. When I podcast, I am able to match the music. For example, when the discussion is about Russian literature, I look for music that adds to the atmosphere. I am excited about the #Karamazovreadalong – sharing a great book is a profound experience.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Only 7 more days until we start, Liz. I am ready to go. You always inspire my reading. I have some exciting news to share which was influenced by your readalong for Dante’s The Divine Comedy. My father enjoyed Dorothy L Sayers, who I thought was a crime writer – Lord Peter Wimsey etc. What I didn’t know was that she translated Dante’s Divine Comedy and considered that this was her best work. I found the translations and have the three books in hand. How is that for serendipity.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my goodness that is truly amazing. I love DLS’s crime novels but had no idea she had done the Dante translation. I’m off to hunt the three books down too! xxxx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The first Lord Peter Wimsey book, Whose Body?, has a reference to Wimsey’s interest in Dante in the first chapter. I found these footnotes, regarding the first reference to Dante in the Gutenberg version of Whose Body? “This is the first Florence edition, 1481, by Niccolo di Lorenzo. Lord Peter’s collection of printed Dantes is worth inspection. It includes, besides the famous Aldine 8vo. of 1502, the Naples folio of 1477—“edizione rarissima,” according to Colomb. This copy has no history, and Mr. Parker’s private belief is that its present owner conveyed it away by stealth from somewhere or other. Lord Peter’s own account is that he “picked it up in a little place in the hills,” when making a walking-tour through Italy. “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so interesting, Mandy, thanks so much! Isn’t it fascinating how one thing leads to another, and here we are on another form of Dante journey!! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read this one, but I joined in a read a long in July, and it was the only book for the entire month and probably one I wouldn’t have made it through without the motivation of readership company, given it too was a rather big book! Happy Reading Liz.


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