Multi-Mediated Dostoevsky

Cloth Text – $45.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-2715-9
Publication Date
January 2011
Page Count
256 pages
Trim Size
6.125 x 9.25

Multi-Mediated Dostoevsky

Transposing Novels into Opera, Film, and Drama
Alexander Burry

Since their publication, the works of Dostoevsky have provided rich fodder for adaptations to opera, film, and drama. While Dostoevsky gave his blessing to the idea of adapting his work to other forms, he believed that "each art form corresponds to a series of poetic thoughts, so that one idea cannot be expressed in another non-corresponding form." In Multi-Mediated Dostoevsky, Alexander Burry argues that twentieth-century adaptations (which he calls "transpositions") of four of Dostoevsky’s works—Sergei Prokofiev’s opera The Gambler, Leos Janacek’s opera From the Dead House, Akira Kurosawa’s film The Idiot, and Adrzej Wajda’s drama The Devils—follow Dostoevsky’s precept by bringing to light underdeveloped or unappreciated aspects of Dostoevsky’s texts rather than by slavishly attempting to recreate their sources. Burry’s interdisciplinary approach gives his study broad appeal to scholars as well as to students of Russian, comparative literature, music, film, drama, and cultural studies.
About the Author

Alexander Burry is an assistant professor of Slavic and East European Languages and Literatures at the Ohio State University.

"The value of this text resides in its interdisciplinary approach to literature, opera, and film. Its strength lies in its seamless interweaving of the original Dostoevskian texts with invaluable insights into the biographical, political, historical, and social context…Burry’s text provides a perceptive and knowledgeable analysis of a vibrant literary, musical, political, and cultural landscape, which continues to engage with Dostoevsky, demonstrating his relevance and importance across all art forms." —Slavic and East European Journal

"Burry has achieved a convincing new definition of a successful adaptation, which will have, to be sure, very positive consequences for all further discussion."  —The Russian Review