In a Russian Cemetery

I always make these pilgrimages to cemeteries. The cemeteries in Russia have always held a special interest for me. Having studies Russian literature it gave me an opportunity to have little “chats” with my hero’s, Fyodor Dostoevsky in particular. I made my first trip to St.Petersburg in 1992 but I do not have access to those pictures. At the time I made the trip with my partner at the time. I imagine those negatives are still in her basement somewhere. A shame, as that particular trip we traveled to my grandmother’s village and were privy to some interesting characters and situations. These particular pictures were taken in 2000 I believe. One of the themes I discovered was the eroticism in the depictions of death. I would like to explore this more in the future.

Pilgrimage To Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Grave

Many years ago I made a couple of pilgrimages to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s grave. In this series I only posted one photograph of his grave and a variety other pictures. Recently a good Russian friend of mine sent me this quote fromt he Brother’s Karamazov and so I would like to repost it here; as well as one of my favorite quotes The Idiot about living each minute to the fullest. Enjoy.

“You see, stupid as I am, I still keep thinking about it, I keep thinking, every once in a while, of course, not all the time. Surely it’s impossible, I think, that the devils will forget to drag me down to their place with their hooks when I die. And then I think: hooks? Where do they get them? What are they made of? Iron? Where do they forge them? Have they got some kind of factory down there? You know, in the monastery the monks probably believe there’s a ceiling in hell, for instance. Now me, I’m ready to believe in hell, only there shouldn’t be any ceiling; that would be, as it were, more refined, more enlightened, more Lutheran, in other words. Does it really make any difference–with a ceiling or without a ceiling? But that’s what the damned question is all about! Because if there’s no ceiling, then there are no hooks. And if there are no hooks, the whole thing falls apart, which, again, is unlikely, because then who will drag me down with hooks, because if they don’t drag me down, what then, and where is there any justice in the world? Il faudrait les inventer, those hooks, just for me, for me alone. Because you have no idea, Alyosha, what a stinker I am…!”

“No, there are no hooks there,” Alyosha said quietly and seriously, studying his father.”Yes, yes. Only shadows of hooks. I know, I know.”–The Brothers Karamazov (tr Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s,The Idiot
Part one chapter 5
Translated by: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
First Vintage Classics edition July 2003

“He was dying at the age of twenty-seven, healthy and strong; bidding farewell to his comrades, … There was a was a church nearby, and the top of the cathedral with its gilded dome shone in the bright sun. He remembered gazing with terrible fixity at that dome and the rays shinning from it: it seemed to him that those rays were his new nature and in three minutes he would somehow merge with them…The ignorance of and loathing for this new thing that would be and would come presently were terrible; yet he said nothing was more oppressive than for him than the constant thought: “What if I were not to die! What if life were given back to me – what infinity! And it would all be mine! Then I’d turn each I’d turn each minute into a whole age, lose nothing, I’d reckon up every minute separately, I’d let nothing be wasted! He said that in the end this thought turned into such anger in him that he wished they would hurry up and shoot him.” (P.60-1)