Dostoevsky and English Modernism 1900–1930

Dostoevsky and English Modernism 1900–1930

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When Constance Garnett's translations (1910a€“1920) made Dostoevsky's novels accessible in England for the first time they introduced a disruptive and liberating literary force, and English novelists had to confront a new model and rival. The writers who are the focus of this study - Lawrence, Woolf, Bennett, Conrad, Forster, Galsworthy and James - either admired or feared Dostoevsky as a monster who might dissolve all literary and cultural distinctions. Though their responses differed greatly, these writers were unanimous in their inability to recognize Dostoevsky as a literary artist. They viewed him instead as a psychologist, a mystic, a prophet and, in the cases of Lawrence and Conrad, a hated rival who compelled creative response. This study constructs a map of English modernist novelists' misreadings of Dostoevsky, and in so doing it illuminates their aesthetic and cultural values and the nature of the modern English novel.Repeatedly, Lawrence stalked his rival in letters, essays, reviews, and fiction. ... The essays about other Russian, American, and Italian authors are equally useful , for Dostoevsky became an inverse and self-reflective measure ofvalue.

Title:Dostoevsky and English Modernism 1900–1930
Author: Peter Kaye
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 1999-05-06

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