Friday, August 14, 2009

Братья Карамазовы

So I've been reading the section of "The Brothers Karamazov" famously known as the "Grand Inquisitor". I'd often heard of this book, and this section, but had never read it. Until last year, I read "Crime and Punishment", and realized it was the same author, which made me want to give it a shot.

The book itself is a pretty good, although slow/full read. You know how through an entire day you have a TON of thoughts that actually go through your mind? Well, Dostoyevsky is pretty good at actually fabricating every one of those thoughts for an entire range of characters, and delivering them well. Once you figure out that for some reason, every character is referred to by more than one name...which is a bit confusing at first. :)

In "The Grand Inquisitor", it's a poem written by a Karamazov where Jesus has returned around 1500 AD just to check things out. It's during the Spanish Inquisition. He was captured, and ends up being locked up and questioned by a Cardinal of the Catholic church. The conversation goes all over, but focuses on Jesus' interaction in the wilderness and the three temptations....and what actually occurs when Jesus rebukes satan in each instance, as opposed to accepting the offer.

It turns out to be incredibly appropriate fodder for the thinking Caputo's book has been allowing me to chew on. In particular, focusing on Jesus not as powerful Lord over a New Creation Kingdom that somehow "trumps" what is currently....but rather subverts many of the things we try and latch onto it. In response to all of the accusations of the Cardinal, Jesus gives the response of a simple kiss. No defense. No argument to make sense of it all. No miraculous proof of how it's all justified, etc.

I know people spend a ridiculous amount of time reading/thinking/writing about all of this. So I won't summarize/say much more than I have. As it stands I've probably already offended someone who thinks I've completely butchered it all. But word. I have enjoyed/will continue to enjoy finishing the book. Good stuff.

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