If you find yourself in perplexity, go to the master post for the read-along schedule.
Today’s the day: start reading!
If you’re on the fence, or intimidated, take heart. I’ve read Dostoyevsky’s other major works (and a few minor ones), and relatively speaking, at least in Part I, The Brothers Karamazov has a manageable number of characters, is very plot driven, and is pretty light on philosophical debates. I expect that to change at some point, but so far, it’s not too hard to follow. As you’ll see, Part I is actually very juicy! I can’t wait to talk about it next week.
That said, there are a ton of online resources to help you get started. If you’ve found some others, please drop them in the comments.
If you use one online resource, make it a character list, especially if you aren’t familiar with Russian nicknames and naming conventions!
- If you are okay with spoilers, this one from Middelbury College is pretty good (you can also find chapter summaries and other helpful stuff)
- A light version with no spoilers and a very web 1.0 look and feel (but no nicknames, which is a big omission if you won’t immediately realize that Mitya = Dmitri)
- A family tree view (from a long-defunct Edmonton book blog, of all places!)
Tips and tricks
Encouraging posts from bloggers and ‘tubers.
- Some practical advice for tackling the Brothers K from longtime book blogger Marina Sofia
- Some tips followed by an extensive list of questions to ask yourself as you read, by book blogger turned painter Brandon Monk
- How to read Dostoyevsky by Booktuber Christy Luis of Dostoyevsky in Space, including how not to get stuck on the philosophical stuff. Christy also hosted a Brothers K readalong last year.
Lecture series and read-alongs
On the more detailed and scholarly side. I didn’t include blog-based read-alongs here as I plan to get to them later!
- A video lecture series by Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, a professor at University of Dallas who specalizes in Dostoyevsky. Big “between two ferns” energy in these videos.
- A podcast lecture series by Benjamin Kozlowski, a self-professed “scholar of fortune” who appears to be a professor of philosphy at Monclair State University
- A Reddit read-along with the r/dostoevsky community, with a plethora of resources and discussion threads
Now, get reading! I’ll post about Part I on Monday August 8.