Dostoevsky vs Tolstoy? : books
(1) Amounting to twelve courses in a student's education, the core goals package But, as someone who teaches Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I believe we open inquiry such as: what is one's relationship and responsibility to. I love to read about Tolstoy's relationships with his famous contemporaries, so full of Yes, Dostoevsky has clear goals and defined action. An Analogous Study of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky with their . Manifesto endeavors to clarify the objectives of Communism and the fundamental .. comprises of the relationship between the Proletarians and The Bourgeoisie class.
Crime and Punishment followed shortly after, with the same scandalous lack of veneration. I loved them both: Tolstoy, for the story he told, and Dostoevsky, for the thoughts he provoked. Many years and many books later, the two authors continue to inhabit different places in my mind and in my memory. Tolstoy conjures up images of endless steppes and elegant Petersburg homes, where great and complex characters go about the business of living.
His books are showcases of literary craftsmanship, epic tales told with impeccable skill.Tolstoy Vs Dostoevsky יונתן צ'רצ'י רגע פואטי
I experience his books as a ceaseless battle of demons that never rest — not even as you turn the page, as you end a chapter, as you finish the novel and read it again. A Dostoevsky novel sitting on a shelf is a bowl of anxiety and confusion, a bundle of frustrations marked by a desperate need for redemption.
Did Dostoevsky and Tolstoy meet each other? - Russia Beyond
His protagonists are shown in extreme situations, where not only their personality but their very nature is put to the test. What I find mesmerizing in Dostoevsky is not just the details of the story, the particular twists and turns of the lives of Rodion Raskolnikov or Dmitri Karamazov; it is the mere possibility of their existence. It is, in the end, the mind-bending notion that we could be just like them — that any of us, any ordinary, simple human being, carries around the highest plane and the lowest point of moral capabilities.
If that is not writing of the ultimate importance, I do not know what is. Chris Huntingtonauthor of the novel Mike Tyson Slept Here Reading Tolstoy transports me to another world; reading Dostoevsky makes me feel alive in this one. So many beautiful horses!
Women like Kitty and Anna Karenina!
Using Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to Teach Ethics in the Twenty-First Century
It feels like my life again. On the other hand, many times someone will frustrate me at work, and I hear these words from The Brothers Karamazov thundering in my head: As I lead my every day life so unlike ice-skating in Moscow or cutting grain on my estatesjust imagining that I resemble beautiful Levin is to invite self-ridicule.
I like him more than he would like me. We demonstrate things differently. I can be innocent and guilty both. That, to me, is life. Borges, I believe, said there was something adolescent about a love of Dostoevsky — that maturity demanded other writers. All I know is, when I first read Crime and Punishment, that book represented a lot of work for me. What did I have to feel so guilty about, at eighteen?
I was frantic with potential energy. I would have been better off with War and Peace — because I had the temperament of Prince Andrei, ready to go to war.
I was angry with myself and frustrated, but I had no major regrets. That kind of bond would only come later for me, when I understood what it was like to tie myself to someone for life- when I understood what mutual forgiveness was. When I was in my early twenties, one of my friends drunkenly stabbed another. Instead, I married her. Later on, I lost her. I chased her in the snow, like Dmitri. I understand Dostoevsky now. What adolescent understands these things?
No one really has to choose one or the other. I simply prefer Dostoevsky. For my last argument, I will simply cite an expert far older and wiser than me: Just recently I was feeling unwell and read House of the Dead.
I had forgotten a good bit, read it over again, and I do not know a better book in all our new literature, including Pushkin. A splendid, instructive book. I enjoyed myself the whole day as I have not done for a long time.
If you see Dostoevsky, tell him that I love him. My own sympathies are with Tolstoy, and even my criteria for judging a work of fiction, I admit, are relentlessly Tolstoyan. True, Dostoevsky saw and felt modern experience in all of its isolating, tragic depth. He showed the obsessive power of ideas and the psychological crises, cracks, and explosions of the soul that have become familiar in our modern world. In fact, when he tries to do so, he reveals his deficiencies.
At the end of Crime and Punishment Raskolnikov flings himself at the feet of Sonya, who has followed him to Siberia where he is serving his sentence for double homicide. Sonya jumps up, looks at him and trembles. The author of Anna Karenina teaches us how to seek meaning not through grandiose romantic strivings, like Anna and Vronsky, but within the limits of imperfect social and family structures, like Kitty and Levin.
Tragedy is just around the corner, or in your living room. But Tolstoy was a realist in the total sense. And that truth is one every generation recognizes as its own, not just those in a state of social crisis or existential despair. If Dostoevsky urges us to reach for the heavens, then Tolstoy teaches us by artistic example how we may touch the transcendent here and now in our messy, fleeting world. Dostoevsky spoke to the twentieth century.
He was unique in foreseeing that it would not be an era of sweetness and light, but the bloodiest on record. With uncanny accuracy, The Demons predicted, in detail, what totalitarianism would be.
Using Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to Teach Ethics in the Twenty-First Century | ASEEES
Neither heredity nor environment, singly or together, fully accounts for a human being. True, some people, and all social sciences aspiring to resemble physics, deny the surplus. But they apply their theories only to others. No matter what he professes, nobody experiences himself as a mere play of external forces. Everyone feels regret or guilt, and there is no escaping the agony of choice. We behave as if we believed that each moment allows for more than one possible outcome and that our freedom that makes us in principle unpredictable.
Without that unpredictability we would lack humanness. We would be zombies, and no one has ethical responsibility to zombies. Dostoevsky despised both capitalism and socialism because each treats people as the mere product of economic or other laws.
If socialism is worse, it is because it also presumes that experts know how to organize life for the best and socialism not only denies but actively removes choice for a supposedly higher good.
At best, this view leads to the Grand Inquisitor, at worst to the nightmarish plans of Pyotr Stepanovich. Tolstoy speaks more to the 21st century. At every moment, however small and ordinary, something happens that cannot entirely be accounted for by previous moments. If we once acknowledge that we will never have a social science, then we will, like General Kutuzov, learn to make decisions differently. We intellectuals would be more cautious, more modest, and ready to correct our errors by constant tinkering.
Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy I inclined first to Tolstoy. The two authors have much in common, and yet diverge in ways that make comparison irresistible.
Both associate the self with moral agency; for both therefore, the individual is the ultimate source of good and evil. For both, goodness, which consists in overcoming selfishness, is natural but weak.
For both feelings trump reason in the soul, though Tolstoy is closer to the Greeks and the Enlightenment in his association of virtue with reason. For Dostoevsky, reason is always tainted by egotism, and therefore he relies on love to spur moral impulses. Dostoevsky concentrates more on evil; for this reason his writings anticipate the horrors of the twentieth and the nascent twenty-first centuries.
I recently learned that I was awarded this particular NEH award for a proposal focusing on the subject: As many of you know, this question, often directed as a form of protestation, also assumes a special significance in the Russian tradition.
Tolstoy indirectly evokes similar ideas in Anna Karenina where individualistic pursuits sometimes blind characters to their moral responsibilities toward others.
For instance, caught up in his first marriage proposal to Kitty, Levin forgets about his brother Nikolai in the beginning of the book. For my purposes, the question, with its deep roots in the biblical and Russian traditions, became the basis for a course about the ethical meaning of community.
How do we define brotherhood? Who are our brothers or sisters? Are our fellow citizens our moral brothers and sisters? Are we supposed to respect and show them civility? What are the boundaries of our community? Should we aspire toward national or human brotherhoods? What kind of moral responsibility do we have toward someone who we loosely understand as a human brother? Are there different layers of moral responsibility depending on different definitions of community?
Finally, depending on where we place the boundaries of community as such, are we absolved from moral responsibility toward those who fall outside the immediate communities where we see ourselves as members? The far-reaching implications of the prompt allowed me to propose a course that could be deeply rooted in the Russian tradition, with significant explorations of ethical philosophy, and a contemporary component that could help make the Russian works more immediately relevant to students.
In Russian culture as reflected in the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, community is often understood in capacious and almost universalist terms — both authors stress the importance of communal love, or agape, and wide-ranging moral responsibility.
At its most basic level, the course presents iterations of community that appear in works by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. When reading these works, we will pay particular attention to the significant moral responsibility that Tolstoy and Dostoevsky believe community members should hold toward one another and the challenges that come with upholding these responsibilities. Rather than being considered in isolation, texts by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky will be paired with a series of philosophical writings selected to help expand and contextualize views of community.
Students will read a representative sample of well-known theories of ethical behavior that touch on the ethical implications of communities. My hope is that the dialogue between all these thinkers will help students develop a rich and varied ethical perspective on community, while also grasping the distinctiveness of the Russian viewpoint.
During the last month of class students will direct their acquired ethical tools to issues of community and communitarian ethics in contemporary America, with a special focus on how race shapes our communities.