Dostoyevsky after Bakhtin

Readings in Dostoyevsky's Fantastic Realism

Dostoyevsky after Bakhtin

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.


"...Jones carves out a valuable and provocative place for Dostoyevsky within modernity's general rejections of historical rationalism. The result is clearly fertile ground for newer critical concepts through which to reread Dostoevsky." Roger Anderson, Russian Review