Aspects of Dostoevskii.
Art, Ethics and Faith.
Reid, Robert and Joe Andrew (Eds.)
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2012, XIII, 306 pp.
Studies in Slavic Literature and Poetics 57
"This excellent collection of fourteen articles addresses the most gripping concepts inseparable from any interpretation of Dostoevskii's work. [...] The high quality of individual contributions results in an informed and organic 'polylogue,' a professional round-table, which should be the aim of any such collective scholarly endeavor."
- Marina Kostalevsky (Bard College), in The Russian Review April 2013.
Perhaps more than any other nineteenth-century Russian writer, Dostoevskii’s continuing popularity rests on his contemporary relevance. The prophetic streak in his creativity gives him the same lasting appeal as dystopian novelists such as Zamiatin and Orwell whom he influenced and whose ethical concerns he anticipated. Religious themes are prominent in his work, too, and, though he was a believer, his interest seems to lie in the tension between faith and unbelief, which was felt as keenly in the Russia of his time as in our own. The nature of Dostoevskii’s art also continues to be debated. The older tendency to disparage his literary method has given way to a recognition of the originality of his techniques, without which his ideological concerns would not have emerged with such thought-provoking clarity. The chapters which comprise this volume address these issues in a range of Dostoevskii’s works, from shorter classics, such as House of the Dead and Notes from Underground to great novels such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. This work will be of use to scholars and students of Dostoevskii at all levels as well as to those with an interest in nineteenth-century literature more generally.
Notes on Contributors
Robert Reid: Introduction: Aspects of Dostoevskii: Art, Ethics and Faith
Katalin Kroó: Intermediary Semantic Formations in White Nights
Audun J. Mørch: The Chronotope of Freedom: House of the Dead
Sarah Hudspith: Why We Must Laugh at the Underground Man
Hristo Manolakev: The Murder Plot in Crime and Punishment: A New Reading
Olga Soboleva: Images Are Created to Be Destroyed (Photography and Painting in The Idiot)
Diane Oenning Thompson: On the Koranic Motif in The Idiot and Demons
Robin Milner-Gulland and Olga Soboleva: ‘Excellent material, I see’: What Happens in Bobok?
Leon Burnett: Effacement and Enigma in the Making of The Meek Girl
Robin Aizlewood: The Dream of a Ridiculous Man: Both Knowing and Not Knowing, and Questions of Philosophy
Joe Andrew: For Men Only? Dostoevskii’s Patriarchal Vision in The Brothers Karamazov
Katherine Jane Briggs: ‘Women of Faith’ or ‘Ladies of Little Faith’: Mothers and Daughters in The Brothers Karamazov
Robin Feuer Miller: Friendly Persuasion and Divine Conversation in The Brothers Karamazov
Richard Peace: One Little Onion and a Pound of Nuts: The Theme of Giving and Accepting in The Brothers Karamazov
Cleo Protokhristova: Time v. Narrative in The Brothers Karamazov