The bare events of Dostoevsky’s life – his father murdered by peasants, his own ordeal before a firing squad, then exile in Siberia, his epilepsy, gambling, poverty and debts – go far to account for his strange intensity of vision. This biography, first published in 1931, traces his wayward development, from his strict and secluded childhood to his debut as ‘literary pimple’, through his years of anguish, to his maturity as artist and final apotheosis as Russian patriot.
Written some fifty years after Dostoevsky’s death, when the material necessary for a full study first became available, Carr’s classic study reflects an approach to the life and genius of Dostoevsky dominated by the concerns of the mid-twentieth century. With its illuminating chapters on each of the great novels and its stylistic precision, this treatment of Dostoevsky remains a perfect introduction to the man, both as a novelist and as a human being.
Introductory Note Book One 1. Childhood 2. Early Years in Petersburg 3. Firstfruits 4. Catastrophe 5. The House of the Dead Book Two 6. Exile and First Marriage 7. Journalistic Experiment 8. Intimate Life 9. Years of Anguish 10. Interludes mainly Sentimental Book Three 11. Annus Mirabilis 12. First Months Abroad 13. Residence Abroad Continued 14. The Ethical Problem – Crime and Punishment 15. The Ethical Ideal – The Idiot 16. Ethics and Politics – The Devils Book Four 17. Return to Russia 18. Dostoevsky as Psychologist – A Raw Youth 19. Dostoevsky as Publicist – The Journal of an Author 20. Dostoevsky as Prophet – The Brothers Karamazov 21. Apotheosis 22. Epilogue