The Brothers Karamazov and the Poetics of Memory by Diane Oenning Thompson
The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoevsky's last and most complex novel. It represents the fullest expression of his quest to achieve a literary work which would express the dilemmas and aspirations of his time and also represent the eternal, absolute values he perceived in the Christian tradition. Diane Thompson's study focuses on the meaning and poetic function of memory in the novel, and seeks to show how Dostoevsky used cultural memory to create a synthesis between his Christian ideal and art. Memory is considered not only as a theme or subject, but also as a principle of artistic composition. This interpretation identifies those aspects of cultural memory Dostoevsky incorporated into his novel, and analyses how he used them as significant components of his characters' memories. This challenging study sets Dostoevsky's work in a new perspective. It will appeal to scholars of Russian and comparative literature.