This book points the way to a better understanding of the apparent contradiction between Dostoyevsky's concern with the highest reaches of human spirituality and at the same time with the most detailed developments in domestic and international politics. Ward argues that the apparent polarization of "religious" thought and "political" analysis of the West are held together for Dostoyevsky in his search for the best human order. He demonstrates not only that Dostoyevsky's observations about the West constitute a coherent critique intimately related to the deepest aspects of his though, but also that these can be rendered more systematic and explicit.
What results is an incisve account of both the religious and the political thought of Dostoyevsky, which helps clarify what Dostoyevsky, which helps clarify what Dostoyevsky can teach us about the modern situation of the Western world and about the problem of human order in general, for, as the author states, "it was Dostoyevsky's great virtue as a thinker always to see the pressing issues of his particular time and place in the light of the 'everlasting problems.'"
The main task of this insightful effort is to reconstruct and examine Dostoevsky's "aesthetically" motivated affirmation of life, based on cycles of transgression and restoration. If life has no meaning, as his central figures claim, it is absurd to affirm life and pointless to live. Since Dostoevsky's doubts concerning the meaning of life resonate so deeply in our own age of pessimism and relativism, the central question of this book, whether Dostoevsky can overcome the skepticism of his most brilliant creation, is innately relevant.
This volume includes a thorough literary analysis of Dostoevsky's texts, yet even those who have not read all of these novels will find Cicovacki's analysis interesting and enthralling. The reader will easily extrapolate Cicovacki's own philosophical interpretation of Dostoevsky's literary heritage.
Works incorporated in the analysis include A Gentle Creature, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.
Dostoevsky’s Political Thought explores Dostoevsky’s political thought in his fictional and nonfictional works with contributions from scholars of political science, philosophy, history, and Russian Studies. From a variety of perspectives, these scholars contribute to a greater understanding of Dostoevsky not only as a political thinker but also as a writer, philosopher, and religious thinker.
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.