Where the translator (Constance Garnett) used “secret police”, the Russian text is “Третьего отделения” (tretyego otdeleniya) meaning “third section”, that is, the Third Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery, the secret police department of the Imperial Russian government from 1826 to 1880.
Its headquarters were near the Panteleymonovsky Bridge ...
Колокол (Kolokol meaning “bell”) was a mid-19th century dissident Russian-language newspaper, printed in London and Geneva to evade Russian state censorship. Commenting on the lines of verse quoted by Kolya:
Long will you remember
The house at the Chain bridge
Victor Terras writes:
These two lines are from a widely known antigovernment satire, repeatedly ...
What exactly is he referring to?
He's most probably referring to the events in Russian history when Russia was on a brink of ceasing to exist as a state. There were a number of grave moments throughout the centuries, to name a few:
Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus (XIII-XV centuries)
Смутное Время ("Time of Troubles", as Wiki puts it) (late XVI - ...
First, congratulations on having read so far in Brothers Karamazov. It takes determination, at the very least, to suffer through the excruciating detail that is characteristic of Dostoevsky’s style.
Dostoevsky gives us many character portraits of people in Russia at that time, many of them negative. So, in general, the scene with Lygavy portrays another ...
It is a XIIth century Slavic apocrypha «Хождение Богородицы по мукам».
In English: “The journey of the Mother of God through hell”.
Aleksey Tolstoy’s novel Хождение по мукам (The Road to Calvary refers to it too.
This must refer to Kolokol, which means "Bell" or "The Bell" (Russian doesn't have a word for "the") in Russian. It was a weekly Russian-language 19th-century newspaper with significant revolutionary and socialist leanings, which was banned in Russia at the time. From the Wikipedia article:
At Kolokol's base was a theory of ...
My source for this answer is "A Karamazov Companion" by Vitor Terras (1981), University of Wisconsin Press.
The Brothers Karamazov contains more autobiographic elements than most of Dostoevsky’s works (...)
Let's go through some of the characters.
It seems that Aliosha was based on people from real life.
The translator chose to "translate" the Russian measure of weight of that time into something that would make sense to English natives.
In the original text Dostoevsky uses the phrase семипудовая купчиха, where пуд is approx. 16 kilos, while семь means "seven".
The narrator ("devil" from Ivan's nightmare) alludes to a ...
After the first mention of Claude Bernard, Mitya uses him as a sort of personalised synecdoche for the worldview that he feels such scientists represent, the conquest of religion by science.
The word "Bernard" appears 13 times in the text of The Brothers Karamazov. Most of them are already quoted in your question, and the others shed no further ...
In my reading of this passage, a few things have always struck me:
Mitya alerts the forester who is relatively uninterested in the entire ordeal, though he still is intrigued enough to take a peek inside and say everything will be OK. Perhaps this mirrors the interest others take in the juicy debauchery of Mitya's own struggle without being concerned enough ...