A New Word on The Brothers Karamazov

Cloth Text – $79.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1949-9
Publication Date
March 2004
Trim Size
6 1/8 x 9 1/4

A New Word on The Brothers Karamazov

Robert Louis Jackson

V. S. Pritchett has written of Dostoevsky that he "is still the master [because] he moves forward with us as the sense of our danger changes." Nearly a century and a quarter have passed since Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel began to appear in installments in The Russian Herald. The essays in A New Word on "The Brothers Karamazov" show us that Dostoevsky does indeed continue to change with us, and that The Brothers Karamazov is very much a novel of our time.

Edited by the nation's most respected senior Dostoevsky scholar, this collection brings together original work by notable writers of varying backgrounds and interests. While drawing on Dostoevsky's other fiction, journalism, and correspondence, the writing of his contemporaries, and the state of Russian culture to illuminate the unfolding novel , these essays also make use of new fields of scholarship, such as cognitive psychology, as well as recent theoretical approaches and critical insights. The authors propose readings remarkable for their attentiveness to detail, relatively peripheral characters, and heretofore overlooked incidents, passages, or fragments of dialogue. Some contributors suggest readings so new that they are subvert our usual modes of approaching this novel; all reflect the immediacy of adventuresome, informed encounters. Treating The Brothers Karamazov in terms of a broad range of genres (poetry, narrative, parody, confession, detective fiction) and discourses (medical, scientific, sexual, judicial, philosophical, and theological), these essays embody a search for coherence, meaning, and harmony that continues to animate Dostoevsky's novel in our day.

About the Author
Robert Louis Jackson is the B. E. Bensinger Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages & Literatures at Yale University. His extensive writings on Dostoevsky include Dialogues with Dostoevsky: The Overwhelming Questions (Stanford, 1996) and Dostoevsky: New Perspectives (Simon & Schuster, 1984).

"The essays in this volume . . . are of extremely high quality and address the needs of specialists and general readers." —Studies in the Novel

"The essays are indeed diverse in their treatments, but there is a cohesion in the volume as a whole that is achieved by an openness in its parts and by the fact that many of the essays complement and illuminate each other." —Modern Language Review 

"...is a fine collection well worth the attention of all serious readers of Dostoevsky and especially of those faced with the daunting task of teaching this magnificent novel to a new generation of students." —The Russian Review

"... each essay in this stimulating collection will set the reader to asking new questions, to appreciating aspects of The Brothers Karamazov he or she had not seen before, and to pondering anew the rich- ness and complexity of Dostoevskii's last novel." —The Slavic Review