How does Dostoevsky's fiction illuminate questions that are important to us today? What does the author have to say about memory and invention, the nature of evidence, and why we read? How did his readings of such writers as Rousseau, Maturin, and Dickens filter into his own novelistic consciousness? And what happens to a novel like Crime and Punishment when it is the subject of a classroom discussion or a conversation? In this original and wide-ranging book, Dostoevsky scholar Robin Feuer Miller approaches the author's major works from a variety of angles and offers a new set of keys to understanding Dostoevsky's world. Taking Dostoevsky's own conversion as her point of departure, Miller explores themes of conversion and healing in his fiction, where spiritual and artistic transfigurations abound. She also addresses questions of literary influence, intertextuality, and the potency of what the author termed "ideas in the air." For readers new to Dostoevsky's writings as well as those deeply familiar with them, Miller offers lucid insights into his works and into their continuing power to engage readers in our own times.
Robin Feuer Miller is Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities; professor of Russian and comparative literature; and chair, Department of German, Russian, and Asian Languages and Literature, Brandeis University. She has published extensively on Russian literature and recently edited The Cambridge Companion to the Classic Russian Novel. She lives in Newton, MA.