Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s masterful translation of The Idiot is destined to stand with their versions of Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and Demons as the definitive Dostoevsky in English. After his great portrayal of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky set out in The Idiot to portray a man of pure innocence. The twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin, following a stay of several years in a Swiss sanatorium, returns to Russia to collect an inheritance and “be among people.” Even before he reaches home he meets the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose obsession with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. In Petersburg the prince finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with money, power, and manipulation. Scandal escalates to murder as Dostoevsky traces the surprising effect of this “positively beautiful man” on the people around him, leading to a final scene that is one of the most powerful in all of world literature.
What happens in Spain, among the euro zone's largest economies, matters. Its high unemployment (over 26%), burgeoning public debt, and banking crisis will be formative for the zone's future. In Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know®, a timely addition to Oxford's acclaimed What Everyone Needs to Know® series, veteran journalist William Chislett provides much-needed political and historical context for Spain's current economic and political predicament. Chislett recounts the country's fascinating and often turbulent history, beginning with the Muslim conquest in 711 and ending with the nation's deep economic crisis, sparked by the spectacular collapse of its real estate and construction sectors in 2010. He explains the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy and covers such issues as the creation of a welfare state, the influx of immigrants, internal strife from the separatist Catalan region, the effects of stringent austerity measures, the strengths and weaknesses of the economy, and how the country can create a more sustainable economic model for the future. In a concise, question-and-answer format that allows readers to quickly access areas of particular interest, the book addresses a wide range of questions, including: What was the legacy of the Muslim presence between 711 and 1492? How did the Spanish Empire Arise? What were the causes of the 1936-39 Civil War? Why did the Socialists win a landslide victory in the 1982 election? What was the impact of European Economic Community membership? What is the violent Basque separatist group ETA? What caused the banking crisis? and more. This engaging overview covers a wide sweep of Spanish history and helps readers understand Spain's place in the world today. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe.
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This work centres on three writers whose prose fictions became exemplary of the modernist drive to reconstitute a vision of life with universal reach. Chapters treating the authors' themes and traits are bracketed by chapters establishing the cultural continuum in which they worked.