Wages of Evil
Dostoevsky and Punishment
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Northwestern University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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The very first attempts at this book’s arguments date back to my dissertation years at the University of California, Davis. Not much has endured from that dissertation chapter except my gratitude to Catherine Robson, David Simpson, and especially to Harriet Murav, who first introduced me to how one thinks and writes about Dostoevsky in English. The 2002 National ...
Abbreviations of Works by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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In his 1922 essay that serves as an introduction to his catalog of Dostoevsky’s library, Leonid Grossman remarks on the “jurist’s vein” (zhilkaiurista) pulsating in Dostoevsky’s works. “Behind his journalistic writings,” Grossman writes, “one can feel a state theorist ...
Chapter One - The Scaffold and the Rod: Dostoevsky on the Death Penalty and Corporal Punishment
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In the Chapter “Rebellion” in The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan famously confronts Alyosha with a roster of crimes against children that emblematize innocent and unavenged human suffering. In Ivan’s eyes, this suffering makes it impossible to accept the promise of universal ...
Chapter Two - Squaring the Circle: The Justice of Punishment
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Unlike Dostoevsky's attitudes toward specific forms of punishment—such as corporal punishment and the death penalty, which have received some attention in Dostoevsky scholarship—his positions on broader questions have remained virtually unexplored. In this chapter, we will ...
Chapter Three - Forgoing Punishment: Dostoevsky’s Third Category and the Case of Ekaterina Kornilova
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Dostoevsky's rather frequent admissions to having been “happy” when some obviously guilty defendants have avoided punishment offer further proof that his attitude can hardly be regarded as strictly ...
Chapter Four - A Mummy or a Resurrected Self?
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Of all of Dostoevsky’s novels, the one that is most directly concerned with the relationship between legal punishment and moral betterment is The House of the Dead. Earlier chapters have considered this novel’s refl ections on a whole constellation of problems, from ...
Chapter Five - India Rubber, the Living Soul, and the Process of Moral Change
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At the end of Crime and Punishment, the embittered Raskolnikov feels—and resents—a mounting pressure to confess. Speaking with Dunia hours before turning himself in, he argues angrily the absurdity of his surrender. The punishment that is in store for him is nothing but ...
Chapter Six - Approximations of Justice: The Novel in the Courtroom
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In the previous chapter, we explored how the Dostoevskian “living soul”—the volatile, incalculable, unknowable self that he contrasts to the lifeless subject put forth by various forms of environmental determinism, physicalism, and psychological empiricism—is consonant ...
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In the opening chapters of The Brothers Karamazov, the Karamazov “discordant” (nestroinoe) family gathers in Zosima’s cell (BK, 31). As the protagonists wait for Dmitrii, who is late, conversation turns to Ivan’s recent article on the church and state. Ivan’s summary of the article and the discussion it prompts are ...
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013