by Dennis Abrams
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been following Project D this year, who have been reading Dostoevsky along with me, and who made this whole thing possible. Doing this, I gained a much great appreciation for Dostoevsky, discovering the structure within the books, his humor, his irony, his ambiguities, and how much more complicated his books are than they appear on the surface. It’s been a wonderful experience.
I saw new things in Crime and Punishment and gained a greater appreciation for the “outsider” elements in Svidrigailov. While The Idiot remains probably my least favorite of the four, I gained insight into what Dostoevsky was trying to do, and found myself, again, drawn to the “outsiders” — Rogozhin, Nastasia Filippovna, and Ippolit. I grew to love Demons even more than I had in my previous reading — its timeliness, the way Dostoevsky plays the characters off each other, the characters themselves — Stavrogin, Kirillov, Yulia, Fedka, the Lebyadkins — the vision of destruction…And finally, The Brothers Karamazov — doing such a close reading of the book, I really learned how to read the book, finding the connections, seeing it for the epic that it truly is. And again, for all that, thank you.
And finally — I’m happy to announce that our next project — The Play’s The Thing — a journey through the plays of William Shakespeare will launch on October 13th with a week of introductory pieces, with readings to begin the following week.
I hope you’ll join me.