Profane Challenge and Orthodox Response in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment presents for the first time an examination of this great novel as a work aimed at winning back “target readers”, young contemporary radicals, from Utilitarianism, nihilism, and Utopian Socialism. Dostoevsky framed the battle in the context of the Orthodox Church and oral tradition versus the West. He relied on knowledge of the Gospels as text received orally, forcing readers to react emotionally, not rationally, and thus undermining the very basis of his opponents’ arguments. Dostoevsky saves Raskol’nikov, underscoring the inadequacy of rational thought and reminding his readers of a heritage discarded at their peril. This volume should be of special interest to secondary and university students, as well as to readers interested in literature, particularly, in Russian literature, and Dostoevsky.
In this overview of secularism and its history, Kennedy traces, through a series of intellectual biographies of leading European thinkers such as Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Dostoyevsky, and Solzhenitsyn, just how the Western world changed from religious to secular.
How does Dostoevsky’s fiction illuminate questions that are important to us today? What does the author have to say about memory and invention, the nature of evidence, and why we read? How did his readings of such writers as Rousseau, Maturin, and Dickens filter into his own novelistic consciousness? And what happens to a novel like Crime and Punishment when it is the subject of a classroom discussion or a conversation? In this original and wide-ranging book, Dostoevsky scholar Robin Feuer Miller approaches the author’s major works from a variety of angles and offers a new set of keys to understanding Dostoevsky’s world. Taking Dostoevsky’s own conversion as her point of departure, Miller explores themes of conversion and healing in his fiction, where spiritual and artistic transfigurations abound. She also addresses questions of literary influence, intertextuality, and the potency of what the author termed "ideas in the air.” For readers new to Dostoevsky’s writings as well as those deeply familiar with them, Miller offers lucid insights into his works and into their continuing power to engage readers in our own times.
This study offers a literary analysis and theological evaluation of the Christian themes in the five great novels of Dostoevsky - 'Crime and Punishment', 'The Idiot', 'The Adolescent', 'The Devils' and 'The Brothers Karamazov'. Dostoevsky's ambiguous treatment of religious issues in his literary works strongly differs from the slavophile Orthodoxy of his journalistic writings. In the novels Dostoevsky deals with Christian basic values, which are presented via a unique tension between the fictionality of the Christian characters and the readers' experience of the existential reality of their religious problems.
This study concentrates on The Devils, but also places this novel in the total context of Dostoevsky’s work. Also considered is the life and work of T.N. Granovsky, who is satirised along with Turgenev in the novel, and thus offers a useful basis on which to delineate the contours of Dostoevsky’s thought. First published in 1991, the book begins from the belief that his "genius embodies much of what is typical of Russian life: his boundless vitality, his extremism, his lack of empiricism and economy. To understand Dostoevsky is therefore somehow to understand Russia." The author concludes that Dostoevsky badly misunderstood Western liberalism, but grappled very well with the psychology of the radical terrorist. This is explained with reference to his intellectual revolution, which is seen as consisting of six stages from his early works of the 1840s.