Admirers have praised Fedor Dostoevsky as the Russian Shakespeare, while his critics have slighted his novels as merely cheap amusements. In this critical introduction to Dostoevsky's fiction, Victor Terras asks readers to draw their own conclusions about the 19th-century Russian writer. Discussing psychological, political, mythical and philosophical approaches, Terras deftly guides readers through the range of diverse and even contradictory interpretations of Dostoevsky's rich novels. Moving through the novelist's career, Terras presents a general analysis of the novel at issue, each chapter focusing on a particular aspect of Dostoevsky's art. He probes the form and style of ""Crime and Punishment"", and explores the ambiguity of ""The Brothers Karamazov"". Terras emphasizes the ""markedness"" of Dostoevsky's novels, their wealth of literary devices such as irony, literary allusions, scenic effects, puns and witticisms. Terras conveys the vital contradictions and ambiguities of the novels. In this informative, engaging literary study, he brings Dostoevsky and his art to life.
Victor Terras is Henry L. Goddard University Professor of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature emeritus at Brown University. He is the author of several books, most recently" Mayakovsky"; ""Th""e Idiot" An Interpretatio""n"; and "A History of Russian Literature." A Karamazov Companion is also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Terras has translated three volumes of Dostoevsky s writing and edited seven volumes of Slavic scholarly texts."