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By Joseph Frank

During this booklet, acclaimed Dostoevsky biographer Joseph Frank explores 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 non secular peasant international and the knowledgeable Russian elite, "Between faith and Rationality" screens the cogent reflections of 1 of the main distinct and flexible critics within the field.

Frank's essays supply a discriminating examine 4 of Dostoevsky's most famed novels, speak 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 background of Russian tradition, the lifetime of Pushkin, and "Oblomov's" impression on Samuel Beckett. Investigating the omnipresent spiritual subject matter 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 specified caliber of Russian literature and tradition, supplying insights for normal readers and specialists alike.

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Extra resources for Between Religion and Rationality: Essays in Russian Literature and Culture

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Moscow, 1923), 361–66. 32 CHAPTER TWO to again later by the young Ippolit, well aware of being doomed to an early death, who wrestles with the problem that the picture poses not only for him, but for Prince Myshkin as well, and, we may assume, also for the author of these anguish-filled pages. ”6 For Dostoevsky, we may speculate, the greatness of Holbein the Younger lay in the boldness with which his art confronted the anomalies of the Christian faith. ) However that may be, it is a similar boldness that Dostoevsky displays in The Idiot, and no one can doubt his sincerity.

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.

And the evil human being precisely insofar as he is the strongest human being. ”18 For Nietzsche, presumably, Dostoevsky’s peasant-convicts were 18 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, book 3, cited in Wolfgang Gesemann, “Nietzsche’s Verhältnis zu Dostoevsky auf dem europäischen Hintergrund der 8oer Jahre,” Die Welt der Slaven 2 (July 1961): 129–56. 28 CHAPTER ONE “evil human beings,” whose “strength” derived from having overcome the inhibitions of customary moral constraints. Nothing, however, could have been farther from Dostoevsky’s own point of view.

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