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The Brothers Karamazov [Paperback]

By Fyodor Dostoyevsky & Maire Jaanus (Introduction by)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   896
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 25, 2004
Publisher   Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN  159308045X  
EAN  9781593080457  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"The Brothers Karamazov," by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is part of the "Barnes & Noble Classics"" "series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of "Barnes & Noble Classics":
  • All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. "Barnes & Noble Classics "pulls together a constellation of influences--biographical, historical, and literary--to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. The last and greatest of Dostoevsky's novels, "The Brothers Karamazov" is a towering masterpiece of literature, philosophy, psychology, and religion. It tells the story of intellectual Ivan, sensual Dmitri, and idealistic Alyosha Karamazov, who collide in the wake of their despicable father's brutal murder.
    Into the framework of the story Dostoevsky poured all of his deepest concerns--the origin of evil, the nature of freedom, the craving for meaning and, most importantly, whether God exists. The novel is famous for three chapters that may be ranked among the greatest pages of Western literature. "Rebellion" and "The Grand Inquisitor" present what many have considered the strongest arguments ever formulated against the existence of God, while "The Devil" brilliantly portrays the banality of evil. Ultimately, Dostoevsky believes that Christ-like love prevails. But does he prove it?
    A rich, moving exploration of the critical questions of human existence, "The Brothers Karamazov" powerfully challenges all readers to reevaluate the world and their place in it. Maire Jaanus is Professor of English and department Chair at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of "Georg Trakl," "Literature and Negation," and a novel, "She," and co-editor of "Reading Seminars I and II," "Reading Seminar XI," and the forthcoming "Lacan in the German-Speaking World."

    Buy The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky & Maire Jaanus from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781593080457 & 159308045X

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    More About Fyodor Dostoyevsky & Maire Jaanus

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher.

    Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. He began writing in his 20s, and his first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when he was 25.

    His major works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.

    Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoyevsky was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends, and through books by Russian and foreign authors. His mother died in 1837, when he was 15, and around the same time he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which gained him entry into St. Petersburg's literary circles.

    In 1849 he was arrested for his involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle, a secret society of liberal utopians that also functioned as a literary discussion group. He and other members were condemned to death, but at the last moment, a note from Tsar Nicholas I was delivered to the scene of the firing squad, commuting the sentence to four years' hard labour in Siberia. His seizures, which may have started in 1839, increased in frequency there, and he was diagnosed with epilepsy. On his release, he was forced to serve as a soldier, before being discharged on grounds of ill health.

    In the following years, Dostoyevsky worked as a journalist, publishing and editing several magazines of his own and, later, A Writer's Diary, a collection of his writings. He began to travel around western Europe and developed a gambling addiction, which led to financial hardship. For a time, he had to beg for money, but he eventually became one of the most widely read and highly regarded Russian writers. His books have been translated into more than 170 languages. Dostoyevsky influenced a multitude of writers and philosophers, from Anton Chekhov and Ernest Hemingway to Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre.

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in 1821 and died in 1881.

    Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky has published or released items in the following series...
    1. Penguin Classics

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    Reviews - What do our customers think?
    I occupy myself with this mystery because I want to be a man  Nov 19, 2008
    Anyone interested in the central question facing mankind will find `The Brothers Karamazov' an essential guide. That question--on man's capacity for responsibility and the proper role of the state and religion--is posed throughout the story in dialogue and events, and is framed neatly in a 20-page section where Ivan presents a poem titled `The Grand Inquisitor' to his brother Alyosha. The chapter that bears that title (Book V, Chapter V) is a masterpiece in itself and should be studied for its narrative technique alone. But the ideas it presents are so immense, so mind-blowing and inspirational, that literary criticism is not sufficient.

    Indeed, `The Brothers Karamazov' should not be classed merely as a novel--it is a book of philosophy, theology, and sociology as well that ranks with the greatest documents in those disciplines. There is a fictitious plot, of course, and the characters in the story are some of the most unique in all of literature, so it is rightly praised as a novel. But the modern reader looking for a plot of twists and romantic intrigues is bound to disappointment. Dostoevsky does not stir up drama through the placement of unexpected developments or improbable character traits. Instead, he relies on the inherent needs and wants of all men to make vivid his story.

    The amount of dialogue may be shocking (tedious) to one accustomed to the modern show-don't-tell policy in storytelling. Today, novelists and screenwriters let a character's actions speak for them--it is quicker and provides a much more convincing impression. It also limits the kind of ideas that are posed in the story to simple, prosaic ones like `she likes him' or `he wants to defeat him.' By contrast, Dostoevsky allows the characters to speak for themselves, which creates a much longer and subtler exposition, but also frees the ideas to be vast and monumental.

    What is the fundamental nature of socialism? What are the uses of the church in finding purpose? In finding salvation? Why is there suffering? What is the meaning of death? Read the brothers' dialogues and contemplate.

    Dostoevsky's own philosophy is seen in the protagonist, Alyosha. This is so despite the fact that the author ably covers every perspective on every topic presented in the book, and one can hardly find a positive assertion throughout. If there is one, it rests in the overall effect of the words and actions, a concept Dostoevsky articulated in a personal correspondence--it is that "Man is a mystery; if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time."

    A word about the translations: The title of Book IV has been translated differently in every version I have seen (other chapter titles are also inconsistent, but Book IV is seemingly the most difficult to agree on). The original Russian is `Nadryvy,' which literally translates to `Ruptures,' though no translations I have seen use `Ruptures.' The word is used throughout the book to convey the motif of `pressures' or `strained conditions about to break.' The various options I have seen for this title are `Lacerations' (Garnett), `Strains' (Pevear & Volkhonsky), `Torment' (MacAndrew), `Crises' (Avsey), and `Crack-Ups' (McDuff). Given this is a central theme, the potential reader might look into which translation he prefers before buying. Apropos, the Princess Alexandra Kropotkin print version bears the Garnett translation, as does the Frederick Davidson audio recording.
    Dostoevsky's last novel, worth every minute.....  Jun 27, 2008
    I read this novel 20 years ago and was fascinated with Dostoevsky's ability to portray the inner human conflicts of his countless characters. Reading it again, I'm still fascinated by Dostoevsky's outstanding ability to describe human confrontation with mortality, agony, and the burden of choice. However, now I have a new understanding of Dostoevsky's philosophy.

    Understandably, and due to the political, emotional, religious and social crisis that Dostoevsky witnessed during his life, he arrived at a point where he rejected radical socialists' positions and all the philosophical concepts popular in Russia at the time, and moved to a conservative position of concern for traditional and religious values.

    During my life's journey of trying to comprehend and understand Dostoevsky, I came to believe that all his work, with the exception of Notes from Underground, was too predictable. He describes an avalanche of human emotional mysteries and takes the reader on a tragic roll coaster ride that will peak and end in either symbolic or an over simplified answer, both of which stand for one concept: humans are doomed, truth is mysterious, turn to God and you'll be saved. In my immaturity, I thought that Dostoevsky did his part to search for truth and the meaning of life, and consistently forces his novels to this conclusion. In particular, the arrogance of his definitive righteousness that he displayed in his last few books was starting to get on my nerves.

    After reading the Brothers Karamazov the second time, I came to a different understanding of Dostoevsky's passionate literature. The characters in The Brothers Karamazov were actually more mature than Dostoevsky's previous characters, and instead of Dostoevsky's typical tragic and hopeless conclusion, there is actually an objective, optimistic, non righteous view of human kind's nature.

    Granted, Dostoevsky still portrayed the hero-Alyosha-as a true loving self denying person, but without the over dramatic craziness that his characters previously had. The other semi-corrupt characters like Dmitri, Ivan, Grushka, and Smerdyakov were realistic enough and displayed both dark and bright sides. Particularly, Ivan was a great character that Dostoevsky used to display his thoughts about atheism, morality and the way he sees free will as a curse. Even though Dostoevsky obviously wanted to disagree with Ivan's debates about God and mortality, he was less definitive in this novel about who's righteous and who's bad.

    Now, I feel that Dostoevsky never found his true inner peace. After all, he was always torn between his desires, addictions, and obsessive love to the woman that tormented him, Suslova. Maybe, the righteous answer that Dostoevsky forcibly wanted for all his characters problems is, in fact, his own dream of a salvation that could never been achieved during his life.

    I might be wrong in both my assumptions, but The brothers Karamazov is a well written masterpiece regardless of the author's hidden messages.
    The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky  Sep 20, 2007

    The Brothers Karamazov has it all. At nearly 700 pages, you almost expect it to! But it's not the length of the book that is most impressive. The story itself is what grips you and doesn't let you go. Before I began the book the sheer length of it frightened me. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get through it with my busy schedule. As I finished the last chapter, however, I found myself wishing that the story would go on!

    Actually, the story of the Karamazovs was supposed to continue; author Dostoevsky wanted it to be the first in a trilogy titled The Life of a Great Sinner. Sadly, Dostoevsky never got to write books two and three; he died four months after Brothers was released. On the other hand, thank heavens he lived long enough to write the first installment! Even without the two that were supposed to follow, The Brothers Karamazov stands tall as a masterpiece in its own right.

    Again, its size is daunting, though when reading it one doesn't get the sense that the author is aimlessly meandering through the lives of his characters. Some of them seem to speak for long periods of time, though with this Dostoevsky isn't merely seeking to develop his characters, but also attempting to speak through them. He explores life's biggest themes-the "eternal questions" (p. 631)-through the story's events and through the characters themselves. These questions require room to explore.

    The story centers on three brothers-Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha-and their father Fyodor. When Fyodor is found murdered, the obvious suspect is apprehended and subsequently tried in court. But did he/she do it? And how does their father's death affect the brothers? Perhaps Dostoevsky is aiming at a more penetrating question-the nature of responsibility. What is it that makes one person guilty and another not guilty if each person had a part to play in the sequence of events leading to the crime?

    Other questions arise, not as secondary concerns, but as pervasive themes throughout the book. These are the eternal questions that were alluded to earlier, and they include the question of whether or not God exists, the nature of evil, the question of whether or not truth really matters, and whether true repentance and forgiveness is possible. Especially powerful is the long-running motif of evil and suffering, and whether it works as a proof for or against the existence of God. Father Zossima's influence on Alyosha argues for the former while Ivan's poem entitled The Grand Inquisitor seems to conclude the latter. Ultimately, the finale of Brothers either perfectly captures existentialist despair or firmly establishes the victory of justice and providence. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out.
    A deep, psychological, verbose masterpiece!  Dec 26, 2005
    The Brothers Karamazov is said to be the greatest and last novel written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In reading the novel, one discovers why so. The novel is set in nineteenth century Russia, and deals with the story of three brothers, Dmitri, Ivan and Alyosha, and the events surrounding the murder of their father Fyodor Kamarazov. The father is a drunkard baffoon, who spares no thoughts or money to his sons, and leads a life of sexual exploits, orgies and drunken revelry. Dmitri, born to Fyodor's first wife, returns to his hometown to seek money from his father, but gets enchanted by Grushenka, who his father lusts for and threatens to win over by the poer of his money. The sensual Dmitri, a former captain of the army, was earlier bethrothed to beautiful Katrina, who he wishes to leave in wake of his intense passion for Grushenka. The brother Ivan, an intellectual stars in the three most famous chapters of the book: Rebellion, the Grand Inquisitor and the Devil; where Dostovesky presents arguments against existence of God and discusses the genesis and futility of evil; the three chapters that on their own could have made the name of the Dostovesky as famous as it is. Ivan formulates arguments that both amaze and befuddle the reader and the reader finds himself tormented by the existential, ethical and theological questions that surface everywhere in the novel. Ivan falls for Katrina.

    Dostovesky calls Alyosha the hero of the novel. Alyosha is an idealist, a believer, a charming young fellow who would was all set on becoming a monk, till his mentor and guide Father Zossima asked him to return to the worldly life. The landscape is full of a range of other characters: Grigory and his wife Marya, devoted servants of Fyodor, who bring up an illegitimate, epileptic son of Fyodor, called Smerdyakov; the wealthy townswoman Madame Hohlakov, whose near cripple daughter Lise is engaged to Alyosha for some period of time; Rakitin, a character who full of big talk and shallow personality and two kids Koyla and Illusha.

    The novel centers around the events leading to and after the murder of Fyodor, whereby Dostovesky creates a highly engaging and yet pretty verbose analysis of the crime, parricide, providing his deep psychological analysis of characters and endless references from Christian texts. The last few chapters where he weaves courtroom drama provides the right climax to this highly challenging piece of work.

    The brilliance of Dostovesky is in making his reader undergo the same fever, same fervour that a criminal is faced with. The depth of portrayal is such that one is continuously full of the characters and the questions that surround their existence: for these questions are eternal questions that confound the reader. While the story is a gripping tale of murder and courtroom drama, the meat of the novel in the three chapters mentioned, in the discussions about what is right and wrong, in the presentation of various facades of human nature and human passion, in arguments for and against parricide, in the dealing of Alyosha with Illusha and Koyla. The last chapter, where Illusha loses his life, culminates a series of heartwrenching events, and this particular chapter is perhaps one of the best pieces arousing pathos in literature. The reader is just washed by the torrent of sorrow, and in a certain sense, Dostovesky succeeds in leading the reader through a sort of catharisis, ending in certain tears and an understanding that Christ-like love and purity of soul symbolized by Illusha and Alyosha is bound to prevail, to save our soul and society.

    The novel is also an excellent read in terms of insights it offers into the ethical, social and philosophical ideas present in Russia towards the end of nineteenth century. In that respect, it presents a case study of the undercurrents in the Russian society, the seeds and spread of socialism and well as the nature and depth of belief in church, miracles and God. The novel is also a part-time love story, where the flaring passions are so intense as to drive characters to the brink of madness, to the edge of chaos, to extremes of happiness and sorrow.

    Reading Dostovesky is like undergoing catharisis, tortuous and painful, and precisely so he is a must read for everyone who ventures into deeper questions surrounding the humanity.

    Write your own review about The Brothers Karamazov

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