I have said it before but the cannon of English literature is riddled with anti-Semitism. There is hardly a writer published before 1950 who doesn't indulge in a line or two of violent anti-Semitism. But last night I was nearing the end of "The Brothers Karamazov" and came across a throw-away paragraph about the blood libel. I know it's Dostoyevsky who is Russian and it's the Russians who wrote the "Elders of Zion" scary fiction so that extreme levels of violent anti-Semitism would be perpetuated but still!
It's Dovstoyevsky!
He's smart.
He's great.
I loved "Crime and Punishment". It was brilliant.
And he has the the usual levels of anti-Semitism so far, like stuff about thieving or corrupt Jews - stuff I expect and tolerate up to a point - but this was fucking awful. Out of the mouth of a sympathetic character talking about and affirming the idea that Jews kill Christain babies for their blood. It was written to make a reader angry and upset and reaffirm the most unbelievable aspect to Eastern European anti-Semitism. I will never understand how anyone ever really beleived that shit except that they heard it over and over and like all lies - if you hear them often enough, they become "truth".

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