The Brothers Karamazov: The Constance Garnett translation revised by Ralph E. Matlaw : backgrounds and sources, essays in criticism (A Norton critical edition)

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9780393044263: The Brothers Karamazov: The Constance Garnett translation revised by Ralph E. Matlaw : backgrounds and sources, essays in criticism (A Norton critical edition)

The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger and completed in November 1880. Dostoyevsky intended it to be the first part in an epic story titled The Life of a Great Sinner, but he died less than four months after its publication. The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia. Dostoyevsky composed much of the novel in Staraya Russa, which is also the main setting of the novel. Since its publication, it has been acclaimed all over the world by thinkers as diverse as Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut and Pope Benedict XVI as one of the supreme achievements in literature.

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The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky's crowning achievement, is a tale of patricide and family rivalry that embodies the moral and spiritual dissolution of an entire society (Russia in the 1870s). It created a national furor comparable only to the excitement stirred by the publication, in 1866, of Crime and Punishment. To Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov captured the quintessence of Russian character in all its exaltation, compassion, and profligacy. Significantly, the book was on Tolstoy's bedside table when he died. Readers in every language have since accepted Dostoevsky's own evaluation of this work and have gone further by proclaiming it one of the few great novels of all ages and countries.
"The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of Dostoevsky's art--his last, longest, richest, and most capacious book," said The Washington Post Book World.
"Nothing is outside Dostoevsky's province," observed Virginia Woolf. "Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading."


The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, andtype, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

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"I am called a psychologist; it's not true. I am only a realist in the highest sense--I depict all the depths of the human soul."

--Fyodor Dostoevsky

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