Fyodor Dostoevsky, Brat'ia Karamazovy [The Brothers Karamazov]

Richard Peace (University of Bristol)
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Brat’ia Karamazovy

[

The Brothers Karamazov

; or

The Karamazov Brothers

], published in serial form in 1879-80, is Dostoevsky’s last great novel – many consider it his greatest. The plot is more complicated than

Prestuplenie i nakazanie

[

Crime and Punishment

], in as much as a central hero, divided as he may be, has been replaced by three figures – brothers, who symbolically represent aspects of the human condition: Ivan – the intellect; Dmitrii – the emotions; Alësha [Alyosha] – spirituality.

Fëdor [Fyodor] Pavlovich, renowned for his debauchery, has fathered three legitimate sons by two wives, who are now dead, but also, as rumour has it, an illegitimate one, Smerdiakov, by a half-demented beggar woman, “Stinking Liza” (the smell is continued in the son’s name:

2859 words

Citation: Peace, Richard. "Brat'ia Karamazovy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 August 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1367, accessed 15 June 2024.]

1367 Brat'ia Karamazovy 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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