By Joseph Frank
In this booklet, acclaimed Dostoevsky biographer Joseph Frank explores the most very important facets of 19th and 20th century Russian tradition, literature, and heritage. Delving into the differences of the Russian novel in addition to the conflicts among the spiritual peasant global and the knowledgeable Russian elite, Between faith and Rationality screens the cogent reflections of 1 of the main exceptional and flexible critics within the field.
Frank's essays supply a discriminating examine 4 of Dostoevsky's most famed novels, talk 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 issues as Orlando Figes's sweeping survey of the background of Russian tradition, the lifetime of Pushkin, and Oblomov's impact on Samuel Beckett. Investigating the omnipresent non secular topic that runs all through Russian tradition, even within the antireligious Chekhov, Frank argues that no different significant ecu literature used to be as a lot preoccupied because the Russian with the tensions among faith and rationality. Between faith and Rationality highlights this designated caliber of Russian literature and tradition, supplying insights for basic readers and specialists alike.
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Extra info for Between religion and rationality : essays in Russian literature and culture
The ordeal of this mock execution is utilized again in Prince Myshkin’s scene with the Epanchin sisters, who at ﬁrst tend to regard the unassuming prince as something of a pious fraud. Not only does Dostoevsky here reproduce the exact details of this lacerating event, but he also expresses sentiments similar to those he employed in a letter to his older brother Mikhail just after returning to prison. ”20 These are the very emotions that Prince Myshkin attributes to a condemned man who then was pardoned: “What if I could go back to life—what eternity!
One of the most important is the dying adolescent Ippolit, who becomes the ﬁrst of the metaphysical rebels later developed in such characters as Kirillov in Demons and Ivan Karamazov. Ippolit emerges as an ideological rival to Prince Myshkin’s meekness and humility, rising in revolt against a God who has condemned mankind to suffering and death. When the prince ﬁrst sees the copy of Holbein’s Dead Christ in Rogozhin’s home, he tells of four encounters that had convinced him that “the essence of religious feeling does not come under any sort of reasoning or atheism, and has nothing to do with crimes or misdemeanors.
In the underground man and Raskolnikov, as later in Stavrogin and Ivan Karamazov, he dramatized the disastrous consequences of such Nihilist ideas if taken to their ultimate limits in human behavior. But this is exactly what he does in The Idiot as well—except that the values in this instance are those that he himself cherished with a fervor made all the more ardent by his full awareness of their vulnerability. With an integrity that cannot be too highly praised, Dostoevsky fearlessly submits his own most hallowed convictions to the same scrutiny that he had used for those of the Nihilists.
Between religion and rationality : essays in Russian literature and culture by Joseph Frank