“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? 😉