Fall 2007

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Listed in: Russian, as RUSS-27


Dale E. Peterson (Section 01)


Extensive reading in the variety of narrative forms explored by Dostoevsky, from his early semi-autobiographical prison memoir and fictional confessional monologues to the mature dialogic form of his "polyphonic" novels. Special emphasis will be placed on Dostoevsky's probing studies of extremist mentalities, both criminal and saintly, and on his lifelong struggle to create a psychology and philosophy adequate to express the breadth of human nature. Some attention will be given to prominent thinkers impressed by Dostoevsky, including Nietzsche and Bakhtin. The course will culminate with a close reading of The Brothers Karamazov. Several brief essays and an independent project that investigates works not assigned or inquires into Dostoevsky's impact on later writers will be required. All readings in English translation, with special assignments for students able to read Russian. Two meetings per week. Not open to first-year students. First semester. Professor Peterson.