I am at a loss for words to justly express my admiration for this extract from The Brothers Karamazov. Therefore, I will just quote my favorite part;I am at a loss for words to justly express my admiration for this extract from The Brothers Karamazov. Therefore, I will just quote my favorite part; a part that I believe speaks pertinently of Christendom.
"But we will gather the sheep once more and subject them to our will for ever. We will prove to them their own weakness and make them humble again, whilst with Thee they have learnt but pride, for Thou hast made more of them than they ever were worth. We will give them that quiet, humble happiness, which alone benefits such weak, foolish creatures as they are, and having once had proved to them their weakness, they will become timid and obedient, and gather around us as chickens around their hen. They will wonder at and feel a superstitious admiration for us, and feel proud to be led by men so powerful and wise that a handful of them can subject a flock a thousand millions strong. Gradually men will begin to fear us. They will nervously dread our slightest anger, their intellects will weaken, their eyes become as easily accessible to tears as those of children and women; but we will teach them an easy transition from grief and tears to laughter, childish joy and mirthful song. Yes; we will make them work like slaves, but during their recreation hours they shall have an innocent child-like life, full of play and merry laughter. We will even permit them sin, for, weak and helpless, they will feel the more love for us for permitting them to indulge in it. We will tell them that every kind of sin will be remitted to them, so long as it is done with our permission; that we take all these sins upon ourselves, for we so love the world, that we are even willing to sacrifice our souls for its satisfaction. And, appearing before them in the light of their scapegoats and redeemers, we shall be adored the more for it. They will have no secrets from us. It will rest with us to permit them to live with their wives and concubines, or to forbid them, to have children or remain childless, either way depending on the degree of their obedience to us; and they will submit most joyfully to us the most agonizing secrets of their souls--all, all will they lay down at our feet, and we will authorize and remit them all in Thy name, and they will believe us and accept our mediation with rapture, as it will deliver them from their greatest anxiety and torture--that of having to decide freely for themselves."...more
Out of all the characters, I find Lord Henry's person the most interesting. I love the pointedness of his sarcasm. He might just be one of my favoriteOut of all the characters, I find Lord Henry's person the most interesting. I love the pointedness of his sarcasm. He might just be one of my favorite literary characters.
Although I applaud Oscar Wilde's skill in writing with different tones of voice and depths of character -moralistic (Basil Hallward), from innocent to crude (Dorian Gray), naive (Sibyl Vane), and honest and frank (Lord Henry) - I do not give full praise to the book's predictable conclusion. ...more
I have ventured on her voluminous book, Atlas Shrugged, years ago and failed to take myself even halfway through it. Therefore, it is just proper to sI have ventured on her voluminous book, Atlas Shrugged, years ago and failed to take myself even halfway through it. Therefore, it is just proper to say that this is my first Ayn Rand, and am I glad to have had it as my appetizer. For someone who has misanthropic tendencies, this book has earned its place in my heart. Its plot gives a crushing blow to the political principle of collectivism. As I've aged, I have outgrown the desire to belong in a group or be in a crowd. I have learned to segregate myself from things and people who are generic in nature (save those people I am attached to); learned to fight for what I want to become, what I want to do, whom I want to love. I have come to know the necessity of regarding oneself as capable of acting individually. Reckon me egotistical. I'd rather be my own disciple than somebody else's blind follower....more
Today, God must have pleased it that I write a review. It has been some time since I wrote one. My 12-hour shift is the culprit.
Anyway, I've been meaToday, God must have pleased it that I write a review. It has been some time since I wrote one. My 12-hour shift is the culprit.
Anyway, I've been meaning to read this book since I first added it on my list. But just like all other book lovers, I've had the dilemma in choosing which books to read first. Candide evidently did not make it to the priority list. But the good news is, I finally read it.
Voltaire's Candide satirically refutes the German philosopher Leibniz's belief that all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds; that the evil in the world is optimal for all that constitute it by subjecting its characters to a number of misfortunes.
Candide was taught by the ever optimistic philosopher Pangloss that all is for the best and he held onto this belief until he was cast out of the palace where he grew up and was then exposed to the machinations of the world. After every hardship he went through - all the lashings and whippings, witnessing his beloved Cunegonde and his friends suffer and/or die, his circuitous windings around the world with little or no food, losing his treasures, etc. - he doubted what Pangloss had taught him that all is for the best. Was it for the best that all those must happen to him?
However, not everything that happened to him was bad. When he accidentally came across a kingdom called El Dorado, he found out that men can subsist in peace and shared prosperity. How was it possible that this kingdom is so different than the one he grew up in? He then realized or somebody made him realize that men have their free will. They can choose whether to be good or bad.
In the end of the story, they met a man whose affairs only include that of his own and his family. The man told them that those who meddle in other people's affairs are always doomed for trouble. He then showed them how he and his children care for their garden for which they were very content. Candide and his friends then decided to care for their own garden rather than complain about their oppressed state and dispute about whether all is really for the best.
The garden is a metaphor for life. Candide and his companions eventually resorted to caring for their garden after all the hardships they've encountered.
Each of us has his own garden to toil and to nourish. Each has his share of unhappiness in this world. Each has the free will to choose whether to propagate and sustain life or suppress and let it all to waste. :)...more
There were unexciting bits like most books have, but with Walden, one can easily forgive the tedium on account of the author's exquisite articulationThere were unexciting bits like most books have, but with Walden, one can easily forgive the tedium on account of the author's exquisite articulation of philosophical rebukes.
Thoreau's Walden is a nacre in a sea of nondescript pebbles. ...more