All posts tagged The Idiot

Talking about Dostoevsky on Radio 3

Rather belatedly, I must alert readers to my appearance last week on BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves programme. As part of a series on ‘the good life’, the programme was devoted to the ambiguous portrayal of goodness – and its spectacular failure – in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. You can listen to me discussing the novel with theologian […]

Dostoevsky in English

I haven’t posted anything for a while, but having got over pre-Christmas flu, festivities, and catching up with work after both, I am now back in the saddle. I decided to post a list of links to English translations of Dostoevsky’s works, partly because someone suggested it would useful, partly to have an overview what’s […]

Thought for the day

Dostoevsky was something of a specialist in disastrous marriages. There are the doomed, poverty-striken, abusive marriages of tubercular women to alcoholic men — not only Marmeladov and Katerina Ivanovna in Crime and Punishment (English translation here), but also Efimov and his wife in Netochka Nezvanova. Some are just abusive and doomed without any help from illness or addiction, […]

Top Ten Murders in Russian Literature

This is the first in a new occasional series in which I’ll look at different aspects of Russian literature through a ‘Top Ten’, and hopefully give people a few reading ideas. My main rule is that writers may only have one entry in any given list. Which makes my first subject slightly trickier than it […]

Vavilov and the Pavlovsk Experimental Station

My knowledge of science in Russia is pretty limited. Like most students of Russian literature, I know that Dmitry Mendeleev, of periodic table fame, was the father-in-law of the poet Alexander Blok. Shalamov, in his story Courses, tells the tale of having to pass an oral exam in Chemistry, his weakest subject, in order to […]

Russkii vestnik 1868

The highlight of Russkii vestnik for 1868 was the publication of Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot, but other notable features are articles by N. A. Liubimov on advances in Physics, Hermann Laroche on Glinka, A. D. Gradovsky on Russian historical literature, and Gustave de Molinari (a regular contributor on European affairs) on the 1867 World Exhibition […]

Russkii vestnik 1869

Russkii vestnik was published from 1856 to 1906. Founded by Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov, who edited it until his death in 1887, it became one of the most influential literary-philosophical journals of the second half of the nineteenth century, publishing nearly all the great novels of that period: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons and […]

Russian journals on Google books

There are some amazing resources on Google books, which can really transform the way scholars work and particularly the time spent on locating materials. As a postgrad in the late 1990s, when I wanted to find out about the serial publication of The Idiot, I ended up having to consult the journal in a library […]

Women, beauty and other things

The ambiguous treatment of some of Dostoevsky’s major themes was high on the menu in the first session on Thursday. Joe Andrew gave a very interesting paper on the ‘woman question’ in The Brothers Karamazov, discussing how marginalized the female characters are – in the central family grouping there are no mothers, daughters or sisters […]

Live from Naples

I’m currently at the 14th International Dostoevsky Symposium in Naples, which started this morning. I missed the opening sessions so don’t have a great deal to report yet except to say that the surroundings in the Palazzo Du Mesnil are really rather sumptuous, and they provided us with a very fine lunch, for which I […]