Dostoevsky And The Catholic Underground (Studies In Russian Literature And Theory)

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While Dostoevskys relation to religion is well-trod ground, there exists no comprehensive study of Dostoevsky and Catholicism. Elizabeth Blakes ambitious and learned Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground fills this glaring omission in the scholarship. Previous commentators have traced a wide-ranging hostility in Dostoevskys understanding of Catholicism to his Slavophilism. Blake depicts a far more nuanced picture. Her close reading demonstrates that he is repelled and fascinated by Catholicism in all its medieval, Reformation, and modern manifestations. Dostoevsky saw in Catholicism not just an inspirational source for the Grand Inquisitor but a political force, an ideological wellspring, a unique mode of intellectual inquiry, and a source of cultural production. Blakes insightful textual analysis is accompanied by an equally penetrating analysis of nineteenth-century European revolutionary history, from Paris to Siberia, that undoubtedly influenced the evolution of Dostoevskys thought.


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