By Malcolm V. Jones
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:1990
Online Publication Date:August 2009
Subjects: European literature
Recent developments in critical theory form the basis for this new study of Dostoyevsky which evaluates the radical contributions to Dostoyevsky criticism made by the critic and literary theorist M.M. Bakhtin. Malcolm Jones first redefines Dostoyevsky's much-debated "fantastic realism"; accepting Bakhtin's reading of Dostoyevsky in its essentials, he seeks out its weaknesses and develops it in new directions. Taking well-known texts by Dostoyevsky in turn, Jones illustrates aspects of their multivoicedness: the emotional and intellectual turmoil suffered by individual characters in the novels; the frequent surprises that undermine the confidence of readers (and other characters) who suppose they have fully understood a character; and finally some of the ways in which Dostoyevsky's texts make use of both factual documentation and Romantic traditions of unreality.