First Words: On Dostoevsky’s Introductions by Lewis Bagby

By Lewis Bagby

Dostoevsky connected introductions to his such a lot hard narratives, together with Notes from the home of the Dead, Notes from Underground, The Devils, The Brothers Karamazov, and “A light Creature.” regardless of his shrewdpermanent makes an attempt to name his readers’ recognition to those introductions, they've been overlooked as an item of analysis for over a hundred and fifty years. That oversight is rectified in First Words, the 1st systematic research of Dostoevsky’s introductions. utilizing Genette’s typology of prefaces and Bakhtin’s inspiration of a number of voices, Lewis Bagby finds simply how very important Dostoevsky’s first phrases are to his fiction. Dostoevsky’s ruses, verbal winks, and backward glances point out a full of life and inventive writer at earnest play within the box of literary discourse.

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Sample text

Furthermore, Lermontov chastises reviewers and readers “of a certain type” for taking as a slight the depiction of his protagonist and of the dramatis personae surrounding him. Lermontov, in equal measure, takes personally the barbs aimed at him and his novel in the reviews. Lermontov gives with one hand and takes with the other. Having poked fun at those who take personal offense at the portrait of Pechorin, claiming that they read out of false vanity, he next asserts that they should indeed take offense, that he has aimed his protagonist at society, like a fist into its face.

There are plenty of such curious works wandering around in the world. For a long time I did not protest against such borrowings, partly because this particular kind of edition of my works seemed rather amusing to me. Only in 1859 did I consider it necessary to warn certain gentlemen about the possible consequences of their unceremonious fraud. . Thus, the fate of my book was as follows: people pilfered it, distorted what they took, and abused it; and the majority of readers did not have any means of checking these frauds.

The traveler is the fictional author of the novel, Lermontov the authentic one. ” There are other vices of “our time” exposed in the preface as well. They have to do with the legal status of the text within society. The traveler has patched together disparate elements of his own writings (his travel notes) along with Pechorin’s travel journal. He overtly discloses the problem for writers of the time—they are not protected from theft. The traveler considers it a minor crime that he has affixed his name to Pechorin’s own work.

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