Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky

By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky

Translated through Constance Garnett, advent by means of Marc Slonim

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This fateful visit of his, which was to trigger off a whole chain of events, remained unclear to me almost to the end. In general, it was strange that such a cultured, proud, and apparently prudent young man as Ivan should come to that scandalous house to join a father who had ignored him all his life, who didn’t know him, indeed, hardly remembered that he existed, a father who would most certainly have refused to give him money under any circumstances and who lived in constant dread lest either of his younger sons, Ivan or Alexei, should one day come and ask him for help.

Human hearts are only the field of battle, and God and the devil struggle. Under the psychological exterior of the personality, Dostoevsky unveils its ontology and metaphysics. The history of the Karamazov family is an artistic myth which encompasses a religious mystery: here is why the Legend of the Grand Inquisitor stands at its center. * Dostoevsky was writing not a philosophical treatise or a theological system, he was composing a novel. Religious-philosophical material was introduced into the framework of the novel genre and treated according to its laws.

The writer prided himself on his realism ; he was describing not the abstract “universal man,” contrived by J. J. ” The Russian novelist first discovered the real face of the hero of our “troubled time”—the “man from underground”: this new Hamlet is struck by the infirmity of doubt, poisoned by reflection, doomed to a lack of will and inertia. ” Dostoevsky’s psychological art is famous throughout the world. Long before Freud and before the school of psychoanalysts he plunged into the depths of the subconscious and investigated the inner life of children and adolescents; he studied the psychics of the insane, maniacs, fanatics, criminals, suicides.

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