What do you think of the book so far? It seems interesting to me. The dialogue contains a lot of interesting discussion about ideas and such. It seems to me that it has a lot of death also.
Nikolai Nikolaievich is my favorite character. What do you think of him? I love reading his dialogue. Take for example (from chapter 1):
"Yes, there are gifted men," said Nikolai Nikolaievich; "but the fashion nowadays is all for groups and societies of every sort. Gregariousness is always the refuge of mediocrities, whether they swear by Soloviëv or Kant or Marx. Only individuals seek the truth, and they shun those whose sole concern is not the truth. How many things in the world deserve our loyalty? Very few indeed. I think one should be loyal to immortality, which is another word for life, a stronger word for it. One must be true to immortality—true to Christ! Ah, you’re turning up your nose, my poor man. As usual, you haven’t understood a thing."
Shortly after, he goes on to say:
"...one must be true to Christ. I’ll explain. What you don’t understand is that it is possible to be an atheist, it is possible not to know whether God exists, or why, and yet believe that man does not live in a state of nature but in history, and that history as we know it now began with Christ, and that Christ’s Gospel is its foundation. Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies. Now, you can’t advance in this direction without a certain faith. You can’t make such discoveries without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one’s neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the heart of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then the two basic ideals of modern man—without them he is unthinkable—the idea of free personality and the idea of life as sacrifice. Mind you, all this is still extraordinarily new. There was no history in this sense among the ancients. They had blood and beastliness and cruelty and pockmarked Caligulas who do not suspect how untalented every enslaver is. They had the boastful dead eternity of bronze monuments and marble columns. It was not until after the coming of Christ that time and man could breathe freely. It was not until after Him that men began to live toward the future. Man does not die in a ditch like a dog—but at home in history, while the work toward the conquest of death is in full swing; he dies sharing in this work."
Sorry to post such a long quote, but I like it and it made me very interested in the book. What do you think? Are there any quotes from the book that you like and want to post? If so, please do.
Also, please post questions of your own for me and the other readers.