Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works




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A brief commentary prepared by Masha Kisel, PhD, Instructor, English, on the following work:

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Bratya Karamazovy (Brothers Karamazov)
St. Petersburg, 1881; first edition


The Brothers Karamazov is a family drama, a crime novel, and a philosophical meditation that tells the story of four brothers and their neglectful father, Fyodor Karamazov, a self-professed buffoon, a miser, and an insatiable lecher.Originally serially published in sixteen installments in the journal The Russian Herald from January 1879 to December 1880, the novel explores the psychological struggle between faith and reason, the distinction between human and divine justice, and the paradox of the existence of evil under the jurisdiction of a loving God.Dostoevsky died in January 1881 before he had the chance to write the second part of the work, which he planned to title The Life of a Great Sinner.Sigmund Freud called The Brothers Karamazov “the most magnificent novel ever written.” Jean-Paul Sartre saw in Dostoevsky’s seminal work the beginnings of French existentialism.

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Masha Kisel, an instructor in the English department, examines the relationship between faith and reason as seen in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov.

Dostoevsky: ‘Brothers Karamazov’


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