Questions tagged [fyodor-dostoyevsky]

For questions regarding the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821 – 1881), the Russian journalist and author of such works as 'Crime and Punishment' (1866), 'The Idiot' (1868–1869) and 'The Brothers Karamazov' (1879–1880). Use this tag with the tag [russian-literature].

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3
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1answer
35 views

About the role of Lizaveta in Crime and Punishment

I just finished Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and I loved it (of course). I would like to bring into analysis the role of Lizaveta, the pawnbroker's half sister who is accidentally killed by ...
4
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1answer
41 views

What is the text Ivan refers to in the preface to the Grand Inquisitor

Before declaming the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov, Ivan refers to a poem with the virgin Marie visiting Hell and begging God for mercy for its inhabitants. Is this a real poem? If so, ...
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0answers
63 views

What are the arguments against atheism in Crime and Punishment?

I'm trying to figure out exactly what arguments Dostoevsky tries to make in Crime and Punishment against atheism. I'm talking about the kind of conclusion he wants you to make for yourself when ...
9
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1answer
138 views

How was Crime and Punishment originally published?

I know that Crime and Punishment was originally published in "The Russian Messenger". I read that it was a Monthly journal. But how exactly was Crime and Punishment formatted in its initial release? ...
12
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2answers
526 views

What does the last sentence in chapter 2 of Crime and Punishment really mean?

The sentence I'm referring to is this one. ‘And what if I am wrong,’ he cried suddenly after a moment’s thought. ‘What if man is not really a scoundrel, man in general, I mean, the whole race ...
4
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0answers
84 views

Narrator in The Idiot

I'm struggling to understand the narrator in The Idiot. He seems like an omniscient narrator, talking of characters in third person. But, in Chapter I of Part One, while describing know-it-alls, the ...
3
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1answer
863 views

Why did Smerdyakov kill himself in the Brothers Karamazov?

It is being said that he committed suicide out of desperation. the Defense lawyer, Fetyukovich, actually stated Smerdyakov did not kill himself out of guilt and remorse, but because he knew there was ...
11
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1answer
494 views

What do people mean when they refer to a work as “Dostoevskian”?

I hear this term thrown around a lot, in connection to a variety of different works. They don't all share the same central themes, though - at least not necessarily. But they do all tend to be ...
6
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0answers
206 views

What is the significance of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov?

In the The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan tells a long story to Alyosha about the Grand Inquisitor. I have been trying to grasp its meaning for sometime, but what is the significance of that story?
7
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2answers
150 views

Confusing list in Crime and Punishment

I have started to read some classic books and I am having some trouble understanding some parts of chapter 6 part 3 in Crime and Punishment, this is after Raskolnikov is called a "Murderer" by a man ...
5
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0answers
53 views

What was Max Beerbohm's literary relationship to Dostoevsky?

I'm currently reading Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson. When the Duke suddenly pours out his soul to Zuleika, his regrets and love so exaggerated that readers can't help but cringe and laugh, I thought ...
13
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2answers
474 views

What is the significance of the “suffocation scene” at Tchermashnya in Brothers Karamazov?

I'm re-reading The Brothers Karamazov and was struck again by a strange scene whose meaning isn't immediately clear to me. In "Lyagavy", Part 3, Book 8, Chapter 2 of The Brothers Karamazov, Mitya ...
8
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1answer
674 views

Was Dostoyevsky atheist or Christian?

We see atheist and Christian heroes in Dostoyevsky's books. In many cases the works of an author reflect elements of their own life. However, the extent to which this occurs vary by author. Especially,...
6
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1answer
237 views

Was Pyotr Stepanovich in “Demons” really connected to the international?

In the book Demons (by Dostoyevsky), there was a character, named Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky, who claimed that he was connected to the international. Did Dostoyevsky mention anywhere in the book ...
16
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1answer
491 views

What was a “prince” in Dostoevsky's times, i.e. mid-late 19th century?

In Dostoevsky's The Idiot, the main character is Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin. Sometimes the word "prince" almost seems an honorary title, e.g. "Here you all are now," the prince began, "looking ...
13
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1answer
139 views

Is there evidence of anti-Semitism in Dostoyevsky's books?

It's well known that Dostoyevsky as a person didn't like Jews. But is there clear evidence of that in his books? Ideally, I'd prefer evidence of things that arise above things that were commonplace ...
32
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1answer
639 views

Is there anything that definitely confirms that Svidrigailov actually committed murder in “Crime and Punishment?”

Is there any proof that Svidrigailov actually committed murder in Crime and Punishment, of either Philip (his servant) or Marfa Petrovna (his wife)? By proof, I mean either a nuanced passage I might ...