By Joseph Frank
In this booklet, acclaimed Dostoevsky biographer Joseph Frank explores probably the most very important points of 19th and 20th century Russian tradition, literature, and historical past. Delving into the differences of the Russian novel in addition to the conflicts among the non secular peasant global and the proficient Russian elite, Between faith and Rationality monitors the cogent reflections of 1 of the main amazing and flexible critics within the field.
Frank's essays supply a discriminating examine 4 of Dostoevsky's most renowned novels, speak about the talk among J. M. Coetzee and Mario Vargas Llosa at the factor of Dostoevsky and evil, and confront Dostoevsky's anti-Semitism. the gathering additionally examines such issues as Orlando Figes's sweeping survey of the heritage of Russian tradition, the lifetime of Pushkin, and Oblomov's impact on Samuel Beckett. Investigating the omnipresent spiritual subject matter that runs all through Russian tradition, even within the antireligious Chekhov, Frank argues that no different significant ecu literature was once as a lot preoccupied because the Russian with the tensions among faith and rationality. Between faith and Rationality highlights this certain caliber of Russian literature and tradition, supplying insights for basic readers and specialists alike.
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Extra resources for Between religion and rationality : essays in Russian literature and culture
13 One can only speculate about what occurred at this time, but there is some reason to believe that the “idea” at which he ﬁnally arrived could well have come from another source than the notes for his novel. Dostoevsky’s creative imagination was intensely proliﬁc, and he often jotted down ideas for various works simultaneously. One such jotting, which turns up amidst those for the future novel, may well have helped him to discover what that novel eventually became. This plan, entitled “A Thought (Poem), Theme Called ‘The Emperor,’ ” was inspired by an article in a historical journal about an incident that had occurred in the mid-eighteenth century.
8 This ﬁrst conception of “the idiot” is thus more or less the reverse of the later one; but other ﬁgures in these notes are endowed with some of the moral qualities that he will later possess. ”9 But his son is an ideal ﬁgure, called “a socialist” by his father, though Dostoevsky writes: “he is not a socialist: on the contrary; he ﬁnds in socialism little besides an unrealizable ideal. ” The son also “preaches about how there is a great 7 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Notebooks for “The Idiot,” trans.
What occupies the foreground is the prince’s attraction to Aglaia Epanchin, the youngest, most beautiful, most headstrong, and most socially idealistic of the three Epanchin daughters. She has been attracted by Myshkin’s deﬁance of social convention as he springs to the defense of Nastasya, who has been externally dishonored but is the innocent victim of circumstances. Aglaia thus characterizes Myshkin, in a famous scene, as “The Poor Knight” of Pushkin’s well-known poem, a work that she recites in his presence after having spoken of the “poor knight” as “Don Quixote, only serious and not comic” (229).
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