By Joseph Frank
In this booklet, acclaimed Dostoevsky biographer Joseph Frank explores probably the most very important facets 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 spiritual peasant global and the knowledgeable Russian elite, Between faith and Rationality screens the cogent reflections of 1 of the main exotic and flexible critics within the field.
Frank's essays supply a discriminating examine 4 of Dostoevsky's most famed novels, talk 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 themes as Orlando Figes's sweeping survey of the heritage of Russian tradition, the lifetime of Pushkin, and Oblomov's effect on Samuel Beckett. Investigating the omnipresent spiritual topic that runs all through Russian tradition, even within the antireligious Chekhov, Frank argues that no different significant eu literature was once as a lot preoccupied because the Russian with the tensions among faith and rationality. Between faith and Rationality highlights this special caliber of Russian literature and tradition, supplying insights for normal readers and specialists alike.
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Additional info for Between religion and rationality : essays in Russian literature and culture
142. ”10 It is as if Dostoevsky were on the point here of fusing the two, with the idiot taking on some of the attributes of the son; but the connection will not be made until much later. Nonetheless, it is striking that on the margin of this page Dostoevsky scribbles the following sentence, repeated almost verbatim in the novel: “The one thing in the world is spontaneous compassion. ”11 Dostoevsky continued to shufﬂe and reshufﬂe his various plot ingredients and characters for several months in the helter-skelter fashion indicated by Wasiolek.
I must establish the character of the hero. ”21 The notes reveal that he continued to struggle with this problem all through the remainder of the book. On the one hand, as he writes, it was necessary “to show . . ”23 Dostoevsky thus was faced with the dilemma of creating a hero lacking all the usual attributes associated with such a ﬁgure, but whose moral-religious purity would somehow shine through and redeem his practical impotence. Four The Idiot is the most loosely constructed of Dostoevsky’s major novels, no doubt because of its sudden emergence but also because of this inherent difﬁculty of constructing a determining sequence of action for his main ﬁgure.
Nothing, however, could have been farther from Dostoevsky’s own point of view. Indeed, perhaps the most important conviction he had acquired as a result of his prison camp ordeal was that, even in their worst excesses, the Russian people had never abandoned the moral law proclaimed by Christ. TWO THE IDIOT D OSTOEVSKY’S great novel The Idiot, one of the ﬁnest works ever written inspired by the image and the ideal of Christ, was composed during a particularly difﬁcult period of his life. To be sure, some other periods of his existence had been equally tumultuous and agitated.