OUSD > Urban Dreams > Language Arts > Extended Literature > Grade 12 > Dostoevsky

 
 

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Description:

Dostoyevsky's first masterpiece, published in 1866, the novel is a psychological analysis of the poor student Raskolnikov, whose theory that humanitarian ends justify evil means leads him to murder a St. Petersburg pawnbroker. The act produces nightmarish guilt in Raskolnikov. The narrative's feverish, compelling tone follows the twists and turns of Raskolnikov's emotions and elaborates his struggle with his conscience and his mounting
sense of horror as he wanders the city's hot, crowded streets. In prison, Raskolnikov comes to the realization that happiness cannot be achieved by a reasoned plan of existence but must be earned by suffering. The novel's status as a masterpiece is chiefly a result of its narrative intensity and its moving depiction of the recovery of a man's diseased spirit. (© Amazon.com)

Booknotes:

Other websites about Crime and Punishment

Author Biography:

Dostoyevsky grew up in a middle-class family in Moscow. His father, a doctor, was a tyrant toward his family, and his mother was a mild, pious woman who died before Dostoyevsky was sixteen. Partly to escape the oppressive atmosphere of his father's household, the boy acquired a love of reading, especially the works of Nikolai Gogol, E. T. A. Hoffmann, and Honore de Balzac. At his father's insistence, Dostoyevsky trained as an engineer in St. Petersburg. While the youth was at school, his father was murdered by his own serfs at the family's small country estate. Dostoyevsky rarely mentioned his father's murder, but Oedipal themes are recurrent in his work, and Sigmund Freud suggested that the novelist's epilepsy was a manifestation of guilt over his repressed wish for his father's death. More...

http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/dostoevskybio.html#
BiographicalInfoEssay
(Andreas Teuber)

Websites about Fyodor Dostoevsky


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