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'I am a sick person. I am a spiteful person. An unattractive person, too . . .' In the depths of a cellar in St. Petersburg, a retired civil servant spews forth a passionate and furious note on the ills of society. The underground man's manifesto reveals his erratic, self-contradictory and even sadistic nature. Yet Dostoyevsky's disturbing character causes an uncomfortable flicker of recognition, and we see in him our own human condition.
Translated by Constance Garnett with an Introduction and Notes by Dr Keith Carabine, University of Kent at Canterbury. Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest and most readable novels ever written. From the beginning we are locked into the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who, against his better instincts, is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder. From that moment on, we share his conflicting feelings of self-loathing and pride, of contempt for and need of others, and of terrible despair and hope of redemption: and, in a remarkable transformation of the detective novel, we follow his agonised efforts to probe and confront both his own motives for, and the consequences of, his crime. The result is a tragic novel built out of a series of supremely dramatic scenes that illuminate the eternal conflicts at the heart of human existence: most especially our desire for self-expression and self-fulfilment, as against the constraints of morality and human laws; and our agonised awareness of the world's harsh injustices and of our own mortality, as against the mysteries of divine justice and immortality.
Translated by Constance Garnett, with an Introduction by A. D. P. Briggs. As Fyodor Karamazov awaits an amorous encounter, he is violently done to death. The three sons of the old debauchee are forced to confront their own guilt or complicity. Who will own to parricide? The reckless and passionate Dmitri? The corrosive intellectual Ivan? Surely not the chaste novice monk Alyosha? The search reveals the divisions which rack the brothers, yet paradoxically unite them. Around the writhings of this one dysfunctional family Dostoevsky weaves a dense network of social, psychological and philosophical relationships. At the same time he shows - from the opening 'scandal' scene in the monastery to a personal appearance by an eccentric Devil - that his dramatic skills have lost nothing of their edge. The Karamazov Brothers, completed a few months before Dostoevsky's death in 1881, remains for many the high point of his genius as novelist and chronicler of the modern malaise. It cast a long shadow over D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Albert Camus, and other giants of twentieth-century European literature.
Darkly fascinating short novel depicts the struggles of a doubting, supremely alienated protagonist in a world of relative values. Seminal work introduced moral, religious, political and social themes that dominated Dostoyevsky's later masterworks. Constance Garnett's authoritative translation is reprinted here, with a new introduction.
'My God! A whole minute of bliss! Is that really so little for the whole of a man's life?' A poignant tale of love and loneliness from Russia's foremost writer. One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Most significant of the Russian novelist's early stories (1846) offers a straight-faced treatment of a hallucinatory theme. Golyadkin senior is a powerless target of persecution by Golyadkin junior, his double in almost every respect. Familiar Dostoyevskan themes of helplessness, victimization, scandal--beautifully handled in small masterpiece.
The short works of Dostoevsky exist in the very large shadow of his astonishing longer novels, but they too are among literature's most revered works and offer keys to understanding the themes in his longer works. Contained in this volume are the short stories "White Nights," "A Disgraceful Affair," and "The Dream of the Ridiculous Man," three of Dostoevsky's most troubling, moving, and poignant works.
Alongside A DISGRACEFUL AFFAIR, Harper Perennial will publish the short fiction of Stephen Crane, Herman Melville, Willa Cather, Leo Tolstoy, and Oscar Wilde to be packaged in a beautifully designed, boldly colorful boxset in the aim to attract contemporary fans of short fiction to these revered masters of the form. Also, in each of these selections will appear a story from one of the new collections being published in 2009. A story from Barb Johnson's forthcoming collection will be printed at the back of this volume.
Originally published in 1866, Crime and Punishment is a psychological thriller that deals with issues of morality, conscience, and redemption. Widely considered to be one of the greatest novels written in any language, this novel explores the life of Rodin Raskolnikov, a young Russian man who robs and murders a pawnbroker to save himself from a life of poverty. As a consequence, he must deal with the oppressive mental anguish of being a criminal while attempting to maintain relationships with his friends and family.
Accused of political subversion as a young man, Dostoyevsky was sentenced to four years of hard labor at a Siberian prison camp -- a horrifying experience from which, years later, he developed this semi-autobiographical memoir of a man condemned to penal servitude for murdering his wife. Describing in relentless detail the physical and mental suffering of the convicts, this haunting and remarkable work ranks amoung Dostoyevsky's greatest masterpieces.
'I could see that she was still terribly afraid, but I didn't soften anything; instead, seeing that she was afraid I deliberately intensified it.' In this short story, Dostoyevsky masterfully depicts desperation, greed, manipulation and suicide. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881). Dostoyevsky's works available in Penguin Classics are Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Double, The Gambler and Other Stories, The Grand Inquisitor, Notes From The Underground, Netochka Nezvanova, The House of The Dead, The Brothers Karamazov and The Village of Stepanchikovo.
Translated by Constance Garnett with an Introduction by A.D.P. Briggs. In 1869 a young Russian was strangled, shot through the head and thrown into a pond. His crime? A wish to leave a small group of violent revolutionaries, from which he had become alienated. Dostoevsky takes this real-life catastrophe as the subject and culmination of Devils, a title that refers the young radicals themselves and also to the materialistic ideas that possessed the minds of many thinking people Russian society at the time. The satirical portraits of the revolutionaries, with their naivety, ludicrous single-mindedness and readiness for murder and destruction, might seem exaggerated - until we consider their all-too-recognisable descendants in the real world ever since. The key figure in the novel, however, is beyond politics. Nikolay Stavrogin, another product of rationalism run wild, exercises his charisma with ruthless authority and total amorality. His unhappiness is accounted for when he confesses to a ghastly sexual crime - in a chapter long suppressed by the censor. This prophetic account of modern morals and politics, with its fifty-odd characters, amazing events and challenging ideas, is seen by some critics as Dostoevsky's masterpiece.
'That sense of the meaninglessness of existence that runs through much of twentieth-century writing - from Conrad and Kafka, to Beckett and beyond - starts in Dostoyevsky's work' Malcolm Bradbury Alienated from society and paralysed by a sense of his own insignificance, the anonymous narrator of Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground tells the story of his tortured life. With bitter irony, he describes his refusal to become a worker in the 'anthill' and his gradual withdrawal from society. The seemingly ordinary world of St Petersburg takes on a nightmarish quality in The Double when a government clerk encounters a man who looks exactly like him - his double perhaps, or possibly the darker side of his own personality. Like Notes from Underground, this is a masterly tragi-comic study of human consciousness. Translated by Ronald Wilks with an Introduction by Robert Louis Jackson
Translated by Constance Garnett, with an Introduction and Notes by Agnes Cardinal, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent. Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from an asylum in Switzerland. As he becomes embroiled in the frantic amatory and financial intrigues which centre around a cast of brilliantly realised characters and which ultimately lead to tragedy, he emerges as a unique combination of the Christian ideal of perfection and Dostoevsky's own views, afflictions and manners. His serene selflessness is contrasted with the worldly qualities of every other character in the novel. Dostoevsky supplies a harsh indictment of the Russian ruling class of his day who have created a world which cannot accomodate the goodness of this idiot.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot is an immaculate portrait of innocence tainted by the brutal reality of human greed. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by David McDuff, with an introduction by William Mills Todd III. Returning to St Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive epileptic Prince Myshkin - the titular 'idiot' - pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife, and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna. Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and finally, murder. Inspired by an image of Christ's suffering Dostoyevsky sought to portray in Prince Myshkin the purity of a 'truly beautiful soul' and explore the perils that innocence and goodness face in a corrupt world. David McDuff's new translation brilliantly captures the novel's idiosyncratic and dream-like language and the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative. This edition also contains a new introduction by William Mills Todd III, which is a fascinating examination of the pressures on Dostoyevsky as he wrote the story of his Christ-like hero. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in Penguin Classics include Crime & Punishment, The Idiot and Demons. If you enjoyed The Idiot, you might like Anton Chekhov's Ward No. 6 and Other Stories, also available in Penguin Classics. 'McDuff's language is rich and alive' The New York Times Book Review '[The Idiot's] ... narrative is so compelling' Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
‘Oh, if you were the kind of man I am … I loved the shame of depravity. I loved cruelty … In a word – a Karamazov!’
The murder of brutal landowner Fyodor Karamazov changes the lives of his sons irrevocably: Mitya, the sensualist, whose bitter rivalry with his father immediately places him under suspicion for parricide; Ivan, the intellectual, whose mental tortures drive him to breakdown; the spiritual Alyosha, who tries to heal the family’s rifts; and the shadowy figure of their bastard half-brother Smerdyakov. As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky’s dark masterwork evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil blur, and everyone’s faith in humanity is tested.
This powerful translation of The Brothers Karamazov features an introduction highlighting Dostoyevsky’s recurrent themes of guilt and salvation, with a new chronology and further reading.
Demons, also known as The Possessed or The Devils, is a dark masterpiece that evokes a world where the lines between and good and evil long ago became blurred. This Penguin Classics edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Demons is translated by Robert A. Maguire and edited by Ronald Meyer, with an introduction by Robert L. Belknap. Pyotr Verkhovensky and Nikolai Stavrogin are the leaders of a Russian revolutionary cell. Their aim is to overthrow the Tsar, destroy society and seize power for themselves. Together they train terrorists who are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their goals - even if the mission means suicide. But when it seems their motley group is about to be discovered, will their recruits be willing to kill one of their own circle in order to cover their tracks? As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky's and everyone's faith in humanity is tested. Partly based on the real-life case of a student murdered by his fellow revolutionaries, Dostoyevsky's sprawling novel is a powerful and prophetic, yet lively and often comic depiction of nineteenth-century Russia, and a savage indictment of the madness and nihilism of those who use violence to serve their beliefs. Robert A. Maguire's superb translation captures Dostoyevsky's vigorous prose. In his introduction, Robert L. Belknap discusses Dostoyevsky's own revolutionary activities, his narrative technique and use of different genres, and the background of Radicalism in Imperial Russia. Edited by Ronald Meyer, this volume also includes a chronology, further reading, notes and a glossary. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in Penguin Classics include Crime & Punishment, The Idiot and Demons. If you enjoyed Demons, you might like Joris-Karl Huysmans' The Damned (La-Bas), also available in Penguin Classics.
The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger and completed in November 1880. Dostoyevsky intended it to be the first part in an epic story titled The Life of a Great Sinner, but he died less than four months after its publication. The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia. Dostoyevsky composed much of the novel in Staraya Russa, which inspired the main setting. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed as one of the supreme achievements in literature.
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