Scott Hughes wrote:How do you like book so far? Has it caught your interest?
What do you think of the narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov? Do you sympathize with him? Can you imagine being sentenced to so many years of hard labor in prison?
Please post any quotes from the first four chapters of the book that you especially like.
If you have any questions for the other readers, please ask them.
The book has certainly caught my interest, just like every other of Dostoevsky's books.
Concerning Aleksandr Petrovich, I think he is, as jsavage mentioned, quiet and observing. He was only sentenced for ten years if I remember correctly, which is easily imaginable in comparison with the "lifers". I can't help but to sympathize with him. His descriptions of some convicts, namely Gazin, only strengthen my sympathy for him.
jsavage wrote:"outside the gate is light and freedom, inside, the worlds apart, it's the house of the dead"
My translation says:
Constance Garnett, in her translation, wrote:Outside that gate is the world of light and freedom, where men live like the rest of mankind. But those living on this side of the fence picture that world as some unattainable fairyland. Here there is a world apart, unlike everything else, with laws of its own, its own dress, its own manners and customs, and here is the house of the living dead---life as nowhere else and a people apart.
jsavage wrote:the prison economics are interesting, i found it fascinating how even in prison if there is a way to make money - capitalism will emerge. there are the risk takers who actually smuggle in the vodka while the higher up inmates just turn a profit on their risk.
I also found this rather interesting. When I first looked at the book, I thought Dostoevsky's depiction of prison life in Russia would be drastically different. The thought of "prison economics" never crossed my mind.
The following are a few quotes which I liked.
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote:Man is a creature that can get accustomed to anything, and I think that is the best definition of him.
Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote:Swearing, "wagging your tongue" is allowed. It is to some extent an entertainment for all [...] And indeed the combatants swear at one another rather for entertainment, for the exercise of their linguistic powers [...] I could not imagine at first how they could abuse one another for pleasure, find in it amusement, pleasant exercise, enjoyment. But one must not forget their vanity. A connoisseur in abuse was respected. He was almost applauded like an actor.