I have made it almost to the end of the Dostoevsky book by getting up early and allowing myself to fall asleep while I read it, waking refreshed for another ten pages or so. Is this a sign of a weak mind overwhelmed? Certainly, the book seems to yield a lot more sense when read in this fashion. There are still some truly awful sentences, but a few real thoughts emerge clearly and provoke others in the reader, though I had better save them for my review. There is one important thing to be said in his favour, though: he is not only a good and penetrating literary critic, he makes you want to read and reread the books he is talking about, which is the first duty. There must be thousands of books on Dostoievsky which don’t leave anyone wanting to read The Devils.
But of course it is impossible to read it just as the work of a literary critic. It is also the work of an Archbishop of Canterbury, a man who has some power to put his beliefs into action. That fact leads to all sorts of troubling reflections.