Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity
Marking the bicentenary of Dostoevsky’s birth, Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity takes the writer’s art – specifically the tension between experience and formal representation – as its central theme. While many critical approaches to Dostoevsky’s works are concerned with spiritual and philosophical dilemmas, this volume focuses instead on questions of design and narrative to explore Dostoevsky and the novel from a multitude of perspectives.
Contributors situate Dostoevsky’s formal choices of narrative, plot, genre, characterization, and the novel itself within modernity and consider how the experience of modernity led to Dostoevsky’s particular engagement with form. Conceived as a forum for younger scholars working in new directions in Dostoevsky scholarship, this volume asks how narrative and genre shape Dostoevsky’s works, as well as how they influence the way modernity is represented. Of interest not only to readers and scholars of Russian literature but also to those curious about the genre of the novel more broadly, Dostoevsky at 200 is pathbreaking in its approach to the question of Dostoevsky’s contribution to the novel as a form.
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- Page Count: 272 pages
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"Dostoevsky at 200 is an essential resource for anyone researching or teaching Dostoevsky: the essays are consistently original, stimulating, and lucid. The volume's masterful introduction provides not just a survey of the wide-ranging works that follow but also thoughtful accounts of modernity and genre and of these fraught categories' key importance in the nineteenth-century Russian tradition."
Anne L. Lounsbery, Department Chair and Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University
"The scholarship in this invigorating collection situates Dostoevsky’s great novels within the fraught intellectual culture of their time, when the new sciences of statistics, economics, physiology, neuroscience, and psychology challenged traditional cultural, religious, and family values and hurled Russia to the brink of modernity. A model for true interdisciplinarity, impeccably written and edited, Dostoevsky at 200 tells its own story, a story of how criticism keeps literature alive."
Carol Apollonio, Professor of the Practice of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Duke University, and President, International Dostoevsky Society
"Dostoevsky – rebel and patriot, prophet and ironist – is wonderfully served by this collection of ten bicentennial essays. Each chapter reminds us anew of Dostoevsky’s astonishing creative synthesis: everything is disintegrating (marriages, bodies, plots, faith systems), and yet out of the rubble he devises a more glorious novelistic form than the old stable one, non-reductive, non-mechanistic, baffling, utterly of our time."
Caryl Emerson, A. Watson Armour III University Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University
"An outstanding collection by a brilliant new generation of Dostoevsky scholars. These essays focus on new topics – science, capitalism, family relations, the material world – and on some familiar topics treated in new ways. Highly recommended for all readers of Dostoevsky."
William Mills Todd III, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor Emeritus of Literature, Harvard University
Author InformationKatherine Bowers is an associate professor in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Kate Holland is an associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Toronto.
Table of contents
Note on Transliteration
Introduction: Dostoevsky and the Novel in Modernity
Katherine Bowers and Kate Holland
1. The Poetics of the Slap: Dostoevsky’s Disintegrating Duel Plot
2. Dostoevsky and the Missing Marriage Plot
Anna A. Berman
3. The Greasy-Haired Pawnbroker and the Capitalist Raskrasavitsa: Dostoevsky’s Businesswomen
4. Allegories of the Material World: Dostoevsky and Nineteenth-Century Science
5. Dostoevsky, Sechenov, and the Reflexes of the Brain: Toward a Stylistic Genealogy of Notes from Underground
6. Deferred Senses and Distanced Spaces: Embodying the Boundaries of Dostoevsky’s Realism
Sarah J. Young
7. Under the Floorboards, Over the Door: The Gothic Corpse and Writing Fear in The Idiot
8. The Improbable Poetics of Crime and Punishment
9. Illegitimacies of the Novel: Characterization in The Adolescent
10. Sovereignty and the Novel: Dostoevsky’s Political Theology
Subjects and Courses