CRIME AND PUNISHMENT Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (1821-1881 ). Nineteenth-Century Russia. major upheaval, political uncertainty and war Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815 Fyodor Dostoevsky born 1821 Czars Nicholas I and Alexander II Nihilists. Biographical Information.
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major upheaval, political uncertainty and war
Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815
Fyodor Dostoevsky born 1821
Czars Nicholas I and Alexander II
family background- middle class (had once achieved nobility but then fallen into decline)
poverty, gambling addiction (Marmeladov?)
strained relationship with father
temperamental: "He was almost pathologically high strung, morose, suspicious... either sullen and silent or else outspoken and polemical.”
epileptic- man as "the sick animal”
joined a group of Christian socialist intellectuals, arrested, sentenced to 8 years of hard labor in Siberia, then death by firing squad, reprieved by the czar, then 4 years of Siberia and 4 years in Russian army
Romantic vision of man as a unique creature composed of conflicting elements
"Our world is the purgatory of heavenly spirits darkened by sinful thoughts."
sanctification through suffering
the concept of the double
Romantic hero: presented qualities of revolt, cynicism, and moral flaw in intelligent and attractive light
published in 1866 as a monthly serial in a Russian literary journal
Can evil means justify honorable ends?
Who is the real criminal?
Character as mystery
Expose of social conditions in 19th cent. Russia
Satirical analysis of liberal and radical politics
Religious call for redemption through suffering
Study of the nature of good and evil, intellect and emotion
Psychological account for crime, search for motive
Robert Louis Jackson – Dialogues with Dostoevsky.
"Dostoevsky," he continues, "has become an icon--in some respects a cliche--for twentieth-century self-consciousness: to know him has been to know ourselves and our century."
See notes for explanation.
1. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
2. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid 19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.
*Latent theme = right to violent rebellion