A Writer's Diary Volume 1: 1873-1876

Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, Author, Kenneth Lantz, Translator, Gary Saul Morson, Introduction by Northwestern University Press $58 (805p) ISBN 978-0-8101-1094-6
Was Dostoevsky's A Writer's Diary ``a daring experiment in form,'' an integral work of art, as Morson claims, or was this monthly periodical--with Dostoevsky its editor, publisher and sole contributor--a mere hodge-podge of articles, sketches, reportage and short stories? Readers pondering this question will gain uncanny insight into the inner conflicts that shaped Dostoevsky's character and thought as they confront a staggering diversity of genres--self-parody, utopian and anti-utopian sketches, autobiographical reminiscences, vignettes celebrating prosaic incidents in the lives of ordinary people, accounts of suicides and sensational trials, jingoistic polemics, essays on Tolstoy, Pushkin and George Sand. This forceful translation by Lantz, a Slavic professor at the University of Toronto, preserves the raw, rough edge of the Diary (whose last issue was in 1881). In his illuminating introduction, Morson, a Slavic professor at Northwestern, shows how the Diary embodies Dostoevsky's belief that salvation or social uplift can only occur gradually through individual self-betterment. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1993
Release date: 07/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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