Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849
The term "biography" seems insufficiently capacious to describe the singular achievement of Joseph Frank's five-volume study of the life of the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. One critic, writing upon the publication of the final volume, casually tagged the series as the ultimate work on Dostoevsky "in any language, and quite possibly forever."
Frank himself had not originally intended to undertake such a massive work. The endeavor began in the early 1960s as an exploration of Dostoevsky's fiction, but it later became apparent to Frank that a deeper appreciation of the fiction would require a more ambitious engagement with the writer's life, directly caught up as Dostoevsky was with the cultural and political movements of mid- and late-nineteenth-century Russia. Already in his forties, Frank undertook to learn Russian and embarked on what would become a five-volume work comprising more than 2,500 pages. The result is an intellectual history of nineteenth-century Russia, with Dostoevsky's mind as a refracting prism.
The volumes have won numerous prizes, among them the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, the Christian Gauss Award of Phi Beta Kappa, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association.
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Review: Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849 (Dostoevsky biography #1)User Review - Bryn Hammond - Goodreads
The adventures of D. up to the age of 28 – that is, up to his arrest. The family weren't well off. For a start in life his father sent him to a military academy, hideous for our young artist. There ... Read full review
Review: Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849 (Dostoevsky biography #1)User Review - Bar Shirtcliff - Goodreads
I gratefully collected this at the post office today, and have done almost nothing but read this book, today. Best staycation ever! This is a wonderful book by an erudite historian who happens to be ... Read full review
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