Professor, Language and Culture Studies
United States Naval Academy
A book that inspired me early on and motivated me to learn more about Russia as an anthropologist, to study the concept of suffering in Russia, children's experiences of Russia and ultimately lead me to write my own book "Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding"(Praeger 2005) was "Notes From the Underground" By Fyodor Dostoevsky. Here is a quote:
"Suffering! Why it is the sole cause of concsiousness! And though at the beginning I did argue that consciousness was the greatest misfortune to man, yet I know that man loves it and will not exchange it for any satisfaction. Consciousness, for instance, is infinitely superior to twice-two. After twice-two there is nothing left for you to do, or even learn. All you could do then would be to stop up your five senses and sink into contemplation...."
in Magarshack, David ed.(2001) "The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky" New York: The Modern Library.