By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Translated by way of Constance Garnett, creation through Marc Slonim
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Extra resources for Brothers Karamazov
He dropped out of the classical secondary school, but later was admitted to military school. From there he was sent on active duty with an army unit in the Caucasus, where he was given an officer’s commission in the field. He was soon demoted to the ranks for fighting a duel, only to be restored to his rank again for gallantry. After this he led a wild, gay life that cost a good deal of money. Since, until he came of age, he never received a single kopek from his father, he was deep in debt by the time that day arrived.
I must write an introductory piece about him too, if only to explain a point that may strike my readers as very strange, namely, that my future hero will have to wear the cassock of a novice at his very first appearance. Yes, he had been living at our monastery for a year or so and, indeed, it looked as if he were preparing to spend the rest of his life within its walls. Chapter 4: The Third Son—Alyosha HE WAS then only twenty (his brother Ivan was twenty-three and their older brother, Dmitry, twenty-seven).
He had been married twice and had three sons—the eldest, Dmitry, by his first wife, and the other two, Ivan and Alexei, by the second. Fyodor Karamazov’s first wife came from a fairly wealthy family of landed gentry—the Miusovs—also from our district. Why should a girl with a dowry, a beautiful girl moreover, one of those bright, clever young things who in this generation are no longer rare and who even cropped up occasionally in the last—why should she marry such a worthless “freak,” as they called him?