Russian Lit notes - Brothers Karamazov

Russian Lit notes - Brothers Karamazov - Russian Lit:...

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Russian Lit: Interest in psychology Ask great philosophical questions “the accursed questions”. Obsess you but can’t find answer. Pages where characters argue ethics or morals English Lit: Imply/allude to philosophical questions Method: Impersonation: to understand what writer wants to say have to imagine what he wants to say about issues today (same issues today just expressed diff) Not going to tell us what Prof. thinks abt issue only what authors would say Try to get us to feel what it’s like to think like this or that character Wants us to feel what it’s like to think diff than what we do, learn what it’s like to get out of ourselves and see the world from a diff perspective, learn to think that way and why we would Identify and empathize with characters, not learn abt it abstractly Without empathy there’s no morality. Exam: Short essays on passages from the book Dostoevsky Had immense influence on modern thought, political thought, psychology, modern existential philosophy, and nature of language Freud thought of himself as a glosser of Dostoevsky (not entirely accurate) “History is governed by law of progress”- thought in 19 th century. D said it was wrong and that 20 th century would be the bloodiest and most tyrannical, and it was (invented totalitarianism). Only one that said that. Fave topic: crime and punishment. Extremes of all cases. D identified factors of why people are willing to commit crime (not based on economic factors but rather moral and psychological factors). Not simple reasons. Born 1821. Wasn’t wealthy. Really needed the money when he wrote but was paid the least per page (in comparison to others) Father was a physician (low paid back then) in a hospital for madmen so D grew up arnd them. Father rose enough to get noble status to buy land in country where D grew up amng peasants (in time only wealthy could own land). Quite religious (most aristocrats didn’t believe in anything and looked down on religious ppl) Left home early age. Father decided on what career D and bro should have but both wanted to be writers. Sent them off to military school of engineering (building fortifications i.e. trenches)
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D got degree in military engineering. Invented fortress where nobody could get in, but nobody could get out either. Impenetrable. Story: father was very cruel and sadistic owner of surfs (like slaves) and some surfs ambushed and murdered the father, and that D felt guilty b/c he wanted to do the same thing. Freud predicted that epilepsy must have begun at moment of father’s murder and that when D was put in prison epilepsy stopped b/c he was punished. Learned later that D got epilepsy in prison and that it’s genetic. Learned that father died
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Russian Lit notes - Brothers Karamazov - Russian Lit:...

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