Dostoevsky: The Author As Psychoanalyst
Andrï Gide once said that Feodor Dostoevsky "lost himself in the characters of his books, and, for this reason, it is in them that he can be found again." In Dostoevsky: The Author as Psychoanalyst, Louis Breger approaches Dostoevsky psychoanalytically, not as a "patient" to be analyzed, but as a fellow psychoanalyst, someone whose life and fiction are intertwined in the process of literary self-exploration.
Raskolnikov's dream of the suffering horse in Crime and Punishment has become one of the best known in all literature, its rich imagery expressing meaning on many levels. Using this as a starting point, Breger goes on to offer a detailed analysis of the novel, situating it at the pivotal point in Dostoevsky's life between the death of his first wife and his second marriage. Using insights from his psychological training, Breger also explores other works by Dostoevsky, among them his early novel, The Double, which Breger relates to the nervous breakdown that Dostoevsky suffered in his twenties, as well as Notes from Underground, The Possessed, The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov, and so forth. Additionally, details from Dostoevsky's own life—his compulsive gambling, his epilepsy, his philosophical, political, religious, and mystical beliefs, and the interpretations of them found in existing biographies—are analyzed in detail.
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