By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Basic Books book date: 2009 unique booklet date: 1879 unique writer: Wilstach, Baldwin
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Extra resources for The Brothers Karamazov (Bantam Classic)
Psychology is only the surface of Dostoevsky’s art. It was for him not an end, but a means. The province of the inner life is only the vestibule of the kingdom of the spirit. Behind the psychologist stands the pneumatologist—the brilliant investigator of the human spirit. ” Dostoevsky had his own doctrine of man—and in this is his great historical importance. He devoted all his creative forces to struggling for the spiritual nature of man, to defending his dignity, personality, and freedom. In his own personal experience, the author of Crime and Punishment lived through the tragic epoch of the shattering of humanism.
I remember the uneasiness that question stirred in me at the time. This fateful visit of his, which was to trigger off a whole chain of events, remained unclear to me almost to the end. In general, it was strange that such a cultured, proud, and apparently prudent young man as Ivan should come to that scandalous house to join a father who had ignored him all his life, who didn’t know him, indeed, hardly remembered that he existed, a father who would most certainly have refused to give him money under any circumstances and who lived in constant dread lest either of his younger sons, Ivan or Alexei, should one day come and ask him for help.
He did not do so out of any deliberate malice or resentment toward the child’s mother, but simply because he forgot all about the little boy. And while he was pestering people with his tears and self-pitying stories, while he was turning his home into a house of debauchery, a faithful servant of the household, Gregory, took the three-year-old Mitya into his care. If it hadn’t been for Gregory, there would have been no one to change the boy’s shirt. Moreover, it so happened that the child’s relations on his mother’s side had also, at first, forgotten his existence.