Complete Letters

Fyodor M. Dostoevsky, Author, Ronald Meyer, Editor, David A. Lowe, Editor Ardis Publishers $35 (275p) ISBN 978-0-88233-897-2
A potent mixture of spontaneous patter, soul-searching, manic highs and lows, these letters are as Dostoevskian as anything the great Russian novelist ever wrote. Three intertwined topics keep recurring: his thirst for literary fame, his constant need for loans and his absorption in books, evinced in critical comments on dozens of writers. Dostoevsky was capable of outpourings of tenderness, as in the correspondence to his first wife, and the letters he wrote while imprisoned in Peter-Paul Fortress reveal his inner strength. But the predominant tone is that of the angry young man who sees through society's shams and questions the meaning of life. Lowe, translator of Turgenev's letters, and Meyer, co-editor of Russian Literature of the Twenties, have produced an excellent translation that captures the rough-hewn, galvanized style of the originals. This is the first installment in a projected five-volume set. (January 18)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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