DOSTOEVSKY by Janko Lavrin


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A biography done from a psychological point of view in contradistinction to the emotional, romantic treatment accorded him in Henri Troyat's Firebrand, published, by Roy (see P. 452-issue of Sept. 1, 1946). This is based on the author's Dostoevsky and His Creation, long out of print, and is an analysis of the great novelist's profound insight into individuals in terms of modern psychology and present-day history. Briefly, Lavrin points-up-the circumstances that strongly influenced Dostoevsky's writing, his early association with pain, poverty and disease, his four-year imprisonment in Siberia, his epilepsy, and his uncontrollable passion for gambling which forced him to write under incredible pressure and poverty. Purposely neglecting normal happenings, Dostoevsky projected his inner chaos into his characters, and in his emphasis on the unconscious, anticipated many of Freud's theories, and the tensions plaguing the world today. While Lavrin admits the novelist's ideological vagaries, he emphasizes the consistency with which he hewed to his major themes, - the ""Russian Idea"", the problem of revolution, of socialism, of culture and religion, subjecting his great novels to searching analysis. Compact study which should provide valuable aid to those studying Russian literature, whether they are reading Dostoevsky for the first time, or rereading Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, etc.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1947
ISBN: 1417988444
Publisher: Macmillan