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 Post subject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevesky
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 5:49 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Now that you mention it: his sickness is just left hanging there..


I don't follow you, what do you expect in the way of a follow up? Ivan goes insane because he is unable to reconcile the fact that he knows that the murder was morally wrong with his philosophical belief that there is no such thing as 'morality' and that 'everything is permissible', this is what would later be known by the name 'cognitive dissonance', and in this case, it is a very extreme case of cognitive dissonance because Ivan completely loses his mind as a result of it.

Ivan's fate is very unrealistic, but it is also very typical of 19th century literature where it is very common for characters to suddenly become completely insane when they are given news that they can't handle.

For example, in Les Miserables, Inspector Javert goes insane and commits suicide because he cannot understand the concept of forgiveness (it is difficult to explain if you haven't read the novel).

In The Count of Monte Cristo, two of Edmund Dante's enemies go insane when they discover Dante's plans, one commits suicide and the other spends the rest of his life in an insane asylum.


In The Man in the Iron Mask, Athos (The Comte de la Faire) goes insane when he learns that his only son, The Vicomte de Braggelone, has died in battle.

This was a common was of resolving characters arcs in 19th century literature.

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 Post subject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevesky
PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Doom wrote:
p.falk wrote:
Now that you mention it: his sickness is just left hanging there..


I don't follow you, what do you expect in the way of a follow up? Ivan goes insane because he is unable to reconcile the fact that he knows that the murder was morally wrong with his philosophical belief that there is no such thing as 'morality' and that 'everything is permissible', this is what would later be known by the name 'cognitive dissonance', and in this case, it is a very extreme case of cognitive dissonance because Ivan completely loses his mind as a result of it


I was just trying to think how Hal might have come to his view.
But your explanation here makes much sense.

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 Post subject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevesky
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 1:50 pm 
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A few things in no particular order:

More spoilers:




I think Smerdyakov is lying about having done it. He has Ivan in a moment of weakness and is tormenting him. I've discussed the murder with a few coroners/pathologists/ER physicians and they consider it highly unlikely that you can strike someone in such a fashion with a object held bare handed and break someone's skull without getting any blood on you, which Smerdyakov explicitly stated was the case. This was actually the part that got me going down this trail.

Ivan's character is very much the "destroyer" of the book. It's fitting that the last thing he destroys is himself.

He had prior fever dream sorts of moments where he wanted to be violent.

It's the ultimate test of his theory about everything being lawful if there's no eternal life.

He couldn't be found in the aftermath of the murder. The last you see of him before the murder was his leaving town but with an odd reservation, including cursing himself.

His lack of memory doesn't mean much since he's obviously going insane and having conversations with the Devil, etc.

These are just a few things but it's how I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevesky
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:28 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
A few things in no particular order:

More spoilers:

I think Smerdyakov is lying about having done It. {/quote]

Then why does he commit suicide? His suicide is explained in the book as being his way of tying up the last loose end of his framing of Dmitri by making sure that the only witness who knows the real truth will never be able to testify, which only makes sense if Smerdyakov is the one who committed the murder.

And the entire subplot about Smerdyakov's hidden rage against Fyodor because of the years of abuse that he has suffered at his hands is completely unnecessary.


Quote:
He has Ivan in a moment of weakness and is tormenting him.


But Ivan isn't the one that he has a grudge against.


Quote:
I've discussed the murder with a few coroners/pathologists/ER physicians and they consider it highly unlikely that you can strike someone in such a fashion with a object held bare handed and break someone's skull without getting any blood on you, which Smerdyakov explicitly stated was the case. This was actually the part that got me going down this trail.


This book was written before there was such a thing as 'forensics' and 'pathology' in the first place, which are disciplines that didn't develop until the 20th century, moreover, you are assuming that Dostoyevsky himself was an expert in pathology and forensics and wrote the scene that way intentionally in order to leave a clue that wouldn't even be comprehensible to his contemporaries, not to anyone until decades after his death, which is kind of far fetched, don't you think?

Ivan's character is very much the "destroyer" of the book. It's fitting that the last thing he destroys is himself.

He had prior fever dream sorts of moments where he wanted to be violent.

It's the ultimate test of his theory about everything being lawful if there's no eternal life.

He couldn't be found in the aftermath of the murder. The last you see of him before the murder was his leaving town but with an odd reservation, including cursing himself.

His lack of memory doesn't mean much since he's obviously going insane and having conversations with the Devil, etc.

These are just a few things but it's how I see it.



Except the entire point of Ivan's story arc is that he has conflict between what he ideologically believes to be true in his head, and what he knows to be true in his heart. According to his ideology, 'everything is permissible', but even though he advocates this principle, he doesn't really, truly believe it because he does not live his life according to that philosophy, and when he witnesses someone else, namely Smerdyakov, actually living according to the very philosophy that he himself preaches, he cannot handle it. That's the entire point of his story arc, which goes right out the window if Ivan is the murderer.

Seriously, your theory makes 99% of the narrative pointless, and undermines every major theme of the novel. Don't you see that?


I have a friend who, whenever he sees a movie, any movie, always theorizes halfway through that the entire movie is a dream, or a hallucination, and he spends all of his time analyzing the movie trying to pinpoint the exact moment when the dream started. It doesn't matter what the movie is, this is what he always thinks. We could be watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and at the end of the movie he is going to say 'so, Spock isn't really dead, it was just a dream by Captain Kirk' and then the next time he watches the movie he will spend the entire movie trying to find the moment when the dream begins.

Your theory reminds me of that guy, you're trying to find a 'secret message' in a book in which everything is spelled out black and white clear as crystal, there's no need to search for any hidden message, it is all explained in the book itself.

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 Post subject: Re: The Brothers Karamazov - Dostoevesky
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 3:09 pm 
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