In their encounters with the fiction of Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), readers find themselves entering into a world that is vividly three-dimensional .Dostoevsky’s novels are abundant with sharply etched inner struggles of individuals and groups who are drawn from a wide range of human experience, striking a balance between keen psychological insight and attentive social observation. We will read Memoirs from the Dead House, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov, three novels that represent different stages in the evolution of Dostoevsky’s critique of entitlement and social injustice. We will also contemplate how Dostoevsky’s practice of speaking truth to power established the foundation for his utopian understanding of the possibilities for reconciliation and redemption in nineteenth-century Russia.
We will read these novels together with his short stories, novellas, and journalism, all of which served as laboratories for his longer fiction. Dostoevsky significantly expanded the parameters of the journalistic essay, transforming it into a blog-like meditation that achieved a seamless fusion of personal expression, political advocacy, and anarchistic pranking. We will take into consideration Dostoevsky’s innovations in narrative structure, his political and religious ideas, and his probing treatments of the subjugation of women and the legacy of serfdom in Russian culture.
Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
Categories: All courses , Literature , Fully In-Person
Tags: 19th century literature , European literature , Philosophical Fiction , fiction , Novel , Dostoevsky , Russian literature