As you may know, I am desperately trying to get Russian readers for my blog, and I possess every confidence, that despite their infamous blog caution, they will attend my blog regularly, provided I post enough Russian-friendly-posts. Then I’ll have them. I’ve already posted a picture of Vlad Putin holding a chess piece. I’m sure you’re wondering, what more could they want? Some time ago I started reading The Brothers Karamazov, but I got distracted and put it down. I’m back at it, and I recently reread a scene that moves me deeply. I’m doing some rough sketches trying to capture something from the book.
I read that Dostoyevsky considered human dignity a treasure worth guarding. This whole scene, from which I’m writing only a moment, confirms Dostoyevsky’s high regard for the dignity of man.
In the book, Dimitry humiliates a poor man in front of the man’s son. Aloysha, his brother, is entrusted with some money from Katherine, Dimitry’s fiance. She intends Aloysha (also called Aleksy) to give it to the man, and the man responds, “Listen, sir, my dear fellow, listen, sir, I mean, if I accept it, shan’t I be a scoundrel, eh? In your eyes, I mean, Aleksey Fyodorovich, shan’t I be a scoundrel? No, Aleksey Fyodorovich, sir, you must hear me to the end, sir, hear me to the end,’ he said hurriedly, touching Aloysha with both hands. ‘Look, here you are trying to make me accept it on the grounds that a “sister” has sent it, yet inwardly, privately to yourself, sir — won’t you feel contempt for me if I accept it, sir, won’t you, eh?”
Below is a sketch that I drew while listening to “Kalinka” over and over.
The composition is weak, and I’m not pleased enough with it to take it to final, but never fear Russian people, more drawings of this man (from a classic Russian novel) are yet to come! Tell your (Russian) friends.