The Brothers Karamazov: Worlds of the Novel by Robin Feuer Miller

By Robin Feuer Miller

Fyodor Dostoevsky accomplished his ultimate novel— The Brothers Karamazov—in 1880. a piece of common attraction and importance, his exploration of excellent and evil instantly won a world readership and this day “remains harrowingly alive within the face of our modern concerns, paradoxes, and joys,” observes Dostoevsky student Robin Feuer Miller. during this attractive and unique publication, she courses us throughout the complexities of Dostoevsky’s masterpiece, supplying prepared insights and a party of the author’s extraordinary powers of imagination.

Miller’s severe better half to The Brothers Karamazov explores the novel’s constitution, issues, characters, and creative options whereas illuminating its myriad philosophical and narrative riddles. She discusses the old value of the publication and its preliminary reception, and in a brand new preface discusses the most recent scholarship on Dostoevsky and the unconventional that topped his profession.

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Throughout this long novel, Dostoevsky uses his narrator-chronicler as a device to force us to make and remake judgments and, eventually, to learn when to suspend them. -15- THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV Dostoevsky, in creating his peculiar narrator-chronicler—that voice which also narrates The Idiot (1868) and The Possessed—had found a vehicle by which, even as he practiced occasional deceptions, he could persuade the reader of his narrator's reliability. At the same time, the narrator-chronicler, by his fondness for making sociological and psychological pronouncements, by his irresistible desire to throw in hints of future events, and by his inability or even refusal to supply the facts of the matter at crucial moments, offered Dostoevsky a subtle means of manipulating his readers and making them duplicate indirectly some of the key experiences of his characters.

This is the exact opposite of the method adopted, perforce, by most of our novelists. They reproduce all the external appearances—tricks of manner, landscape, dress, and the effect of the hero upon his friends—but very rarely, and only for an instant, penetrate to the tumult of thought which rages within his own mind. But the whole fabric of a book by Dostoevsky is made out of such material. . " How many men find themselves, after a term of solitary imprisonment in a fortress, facing a virtually certain death by firing squad, only to be reprieved at the last moment by the arrival of a galloping messenger from the czar?

Each generation of readers discovers and remakes this novel anew. For those readers who are approaching this novel for the first time, I would urge you to gauge carefully the most important critical reception of all: your own. What follows is an introductory reading of the text with a modest goal: to enrich your response to this great work and to deepen your aesthetic pleasure in it. -9- This page intentionally left blank A Reading From Dostoevsky's notebook for the novel (1879). This page is from the notes for chapter 6 of Book V and has been reprinted in volume XV of the Polnoe sobranie.

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