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Showing posts from June, 2011

"The Idiot" (1869) by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“They call me a psychologist. That is not true. I’m only a realist in the higher sense; that is, I portray all the depths of the human soul.” - Fyodor Dostoevsky The main theme of “The Idiot” is the contrast between the naive and innocent Prince Lyov Nikolayovich Myshkin and the materialistic and decadent society of the day. The prince truly believes in the good nature of people; he is constantly insulted, used and abused throughout the story only to instantly forgive and repeat the process once again. He even blames himself for their behavior, sometimes correctly but his reproaches are generally undeserved. Dostoevsky is being a realist in the sense that if a truly innocent were to try to survive without either being polluted and drawn into the world this would be the inevitable outcome. The story centers on a love triangle that develops between the prince, Nastasya Filippovna and Aglaia Epanchin. Plenty of drama ensues. Prince Myshkin is frequently compared to Christ but I p

The Venus of Urbino

This is easily one of, if not my outright favorite painting. I first saw Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” when I was a teenager and instantly fell in love with her. I feel that this is a very remarkable work because of the unabashed eroticism it portrays. There is no question as to the incredibly sexual intent of this piece. The screen coving the left side of the background draws a perfect line down the center of the work and points directly to her almost exposed vagina. This is the most obvious straight line in the entire painting. All the other lines are curved Her hand, which is the only thing covering her, indicates that she is about to begin masturbating or that she perhaps already has been pleasuring herself. Venus stares directly at you with a neutral or perhaps even stoic expression. The fact that she is not only unashamed of her nudity or self stimulation completely makes this piece what it is. She is one of the only Venus’s worthy of the name out of all the other paintings or