Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brodsky on Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky made the most of Russian’s irregular grammar. His sentences have a feverish, hysterical, idiosyncratic pace and their lexical content is an all but maddening fusion of belles-lettres, colloquialisms, and bureaucratese. His digressions were prompted more by the language than by the requirements of a plot. Reading him simply makes one realise that stream of consciousness springs not from consciousness but from a word, which alters or redirects one’s consciousness.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Woolf on "The Eternal Husband":

Velchaninov [. . .] passes over his involved and crowded train of thought, without a single hitch, just, in fact, as we ourselves are conscious of thinking [. . .]. From the crowd of objects pressing upon our attention we select now this one, now that one, weaving them inconsequently into our thought; the associations of a word perhaps make another loop in the line, from which we spring back again to a different section of our main thought [. . .]. (Woolf, Essays 2: 85)