Notes from the House of the Dead

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Free sample

Master translation of a neglected Russian classic into English

Long before Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago came Dostoevsky's Notes from the House of the Dead, a compelling account of the horrific conditions in Siberian labor camps. First published in 1861, this novel, based on Dostoevsky's own experience as a political prisoner, is a forerunner of his famous novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

The characters and situations that Dostoevsky encountered in prison were so violent and extraordinary that they changed his psyche profoundly. Through that experience, he later said, he was resurrected into a new spiritual condition -- one in which he would create some of the greatest novels ever written.

Including an illuminating introduction by James Scanlan on Dostoevsky's prison years, this totally new translation by Boris Jakim captures Dostoevsky's semi-autobiographical narrative -- at times coarse, at times intensely emotional, at times philosophical -- in rich American English.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
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Published on
Jun 11, 2013
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Pages
344
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ISBN
9781467437424
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Political
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia.

In 1849 Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his participation in a utopian socialist discussion group. The account he wrote after his release, based on notes he smuggled out, was the first book to reveal life inside the Russian penal system. The book not only brought him fame but also founded the tradition of Russian prison writing.

Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante’s Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality.

To get past government censors, Dostoevsky made his narrator a common-law criminal rather than a political prisoner, but the perspective is unmistakably his own. His incarceration was a transformative experience that nourished all his later works, particularly Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky’s narrator discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. His story reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia; it is, finally, a profound meditation on freedom: “The prisoner himself knows that he is a prisoner; but no brands, no fetters will make him forget that he is a human being.” 
This carefully crafted ebook: “Demons (The Possessed / The Devils) - The Unabridged Garnett Translation” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Demons is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoyevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demons. An extremely political book, Demons is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century. As the revolutionary democrats begin to rise in Russia, different ideologies begin to collide. Dostoyevsky casts a critical eye on both the liberal idealists, portraying their ideas and ideological foundation as demonic, and the conservative establishment's ineptitude in dealing with those ideas and their social consequences. The entire novel takes place in a small town outside of Petersberg and is narrated by a man named Mr. Govorov. Mr. Govorov does not witness every conversation first hand, but nonetheless the narrator describes the story as if he partook in every situation or as a chronicler, who had the events described to him. We know very little of Mr. Govorov, except that he is a close friend of Stephan Trofimovich. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky ( 1821 – 1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
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