Dostoevsky and Social and Metaphysical Freedom

Author: Buzina, Tatyana
Year:2003
Pages:332
ISBN:0-7734-6643-6
978-0-7734-6643-2
Price:219.95
In structuring her argument about the dynamic by which the notions of fate and freedom operate throughout Doetoevsky's canon, Dr. Buzina brings together four different, though interrelated traditions, the romantic tradition from Schelling to Berlin, Old Norse mythology, the Russian Folk tradition as reflected both in folk tales and in old hymns and dirges, and the Bible.

Reviews

“In structuring her argument about the dynamic by which the notions of fate and freedom operate throughout Dostoevsky’s canon, Buzina brings together four different, though interrelated traditions, the romantic tradition from Schelling to Berlin, old Norse mythology, the Russian folk tradition as reflected both in folk tales and in old hymns and dirges, and the Bible. It is this conjunction of approaches that makes Buzina’s work particularly interesting. Because of her experience as a Russian scholar with a grounding in Russian religious thought yet educated largely in the United States and thus prepared to confront a broad array of contemporary critical theories, Buzina brings to bear a unique set of talents and preoccupations upon her subject…. Readers will be intrigued by the materials, especially the hymns and dirges, which she brings forward in her analysis. Ultimately Buzina is most interested in understanding Dostoevsky’s vision of how and when characters make fateful choices….to engage with these timeless questions anew and to bring to bear on them her own insights from cultural history, romantic thought, mythology and religion.” – Robin Feuer Miller, Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities, Brandeis University

“Buzina combines a strong and original conception of Dostoevsky’s oeuvre with the staggering erudition that is characteristic of scholars trained in the Russian tradition. There is much in this book that will be of great interest to Dostoevsky scholars and perhaps also to a broader readership.” – Susanne Fusso, Professor and Chair, Department of Russian Language and Literature, Wesleyan University

“It is a pleasure, in this latent Post-Structuralist period, to read a scholarly work that is neither ideological, nor formulistic, nor trivial. The scope of this author’s research and the range of her knowledge are admirable. Her knowledge and relevant application of several languages is impressive. Her knowledge of philosophy is sound and is will applied to an original contribution to Dostoevsky studies.” – Dr. Lauren G. Leighton, author of A Bibliography of Alexander Pushkin in English

“….offers an important and original contribution to the study of Dostoevsky….This analysis is performed by Buzina with caution and precision; the result is an insightful narrative which successfully integrates the material arising from different scholarly fields and, therefore, provides a new perspective to the reading of Dostoevsky’s work….will contribute to the studies in Russian literature, mythology, and folklore.” – Marina Kostalevsky, Assistant Professor of Russian, Bard College

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface; Introduction
Free Will and Deification: Dostoevsky’s Romantic Model
· Schelling’s Philosophy of Freedom: The Cornerstone of Romanticism
· Dostoevsky and Job’s Tragic Freedom
Luck, Destiny, Fate and Doom in the Russian Folk Worldview
· Fatalistic Beliefs: Approach and General Overview
· Collectivism vs. Personalism in the Russian Folk Worldview
· Luck: The Original Fatalistic Concept
· Destiny: Death and deification
· Fate: The Death of Gods
· Doom: The Life-span of the University
Notes From the House of the Dead – A Study in Fate and Freedom
· The Elite and the Folk: An Unexpected Convergence
· Akul’ka’s Husband: Love, Money, or Love of Money?
· The Elite and the Folk: In Search of Common Ground
Between Luck, Destiny and Chance
· Destiny and Chance: Deterioration of the Heroic Fatalistic Beliefs in The Gambler
· The Brothers Karamazov and the Hero of Our Time: Choice and Indetermination
· The Brothers Karamazov: Movement from Common to Heroic
The Brothers Karamazov: The Final Synthesis
Conclusions
Bibliography; Index