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December 24, 2007

Comments

David Alexander

Thanks for the post. That is an unforgettable story. The comments remind me of the following that I recently read: "There is a deep sense, however, in which the terrorist attacks underscore not the fragility of normality but the normality of fragility." The fragility of humanity is a powerful aspect of the story. It also reminds me of Vaclav Havel's "The Power of the Powerless" in which he describes the hypnotic lure of ideology and totalitarianism in parallel fashion. But I wish to remark that while it may have been a condemnation of totalitarianism in the Catholic church I do not think it was a full-blown condemnation of the Catholic church. My reasons for this is are weak and intuitional. I know that Alyosha's character in the novel was based on Solovyov who though critical of the Catholic church was friendly towardit and came near to converting to it.

Nathan Smith

It would be nice to think that Dostoyevsky is not as anti-Catholic as he sometimes seems to be, but I don't see the evidence for it. Alyosha's response to "The Grand Inquisitor" is to disbelieve in the Grand Inquisitor character, not because he thinks the Catholics wouldn't be that bad, but if anything because he thinks they are worse... I think he says something like "their secret is atheism."

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