STUMP » Articles » Mornings with Meep: Dostoevsky's The Gambler » 20 November 2018, 06:07

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Mornings with Meep: Dostoevsky's The Gambler  


20 November 2018, 06:07

A quick change of venue:

I’m big on Dostoevsky, and really got into it, no lie, because of Thug Notes:

I’ve read all those, and I’m slowly going through Dostoevsky’s work. I’m finding out that one may as well stick to the best — Brothers Karamazov and Crime & Punishment will be enough to satisfy me over and over. But I am still curious. I wasn’t big on The Idiot (a few characters I liked – specifically the Grand Dame – but mostly, I found it frustrating.)


And The Gambler… its best bits in showing how the brain dissolves from the stimulant of gambling, for those apt to get hooked…

“For why is gambling a whit worse than any other method of acquiring money? How, for instance, is it worse than trade? True, out of a hundred persons, only one can win; yet what business is that of yours or of mine?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Gambler

I have no issue with gambling itself, but it can destroy one person’s wealth rapidly. Look upon it as entertainment, as opposed to investment… and you can set appropriate limits. You want to spend $10,000 on a few hours of entertainment? Maybe you do, but I don’t.

Actually having to sit down and run a store, which is far more involved than “simply” being a middleman – it may be boring, but it’s less destructive (and far more socially useful) than gambling.

Dostoevsky shows gambling as an aristocratic disease — they’re the only people with enough money to waste on this sort of thing, and they barely earn their money. It’s all inheritances, after all – inheritances which may be punier than hoped, so the only aristocratic way to boost it is gambling, n’est-ce pas?


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