Resurrection from the Underground
Publication Year: 2012
In a fascinating analysis of critical themes in Feodor Dostoevsky’s work, René Girard explores the implications of the Russian author’s “underground,” a site of isolation, alienation, and resentment. Brilliantly translated, this book is a testament to Girard’s remarkable engagement with Dostoevsky’s work, through which he discusses numerous aspects of the human condition, including desire, which Girard argues is “triangular” or “mimetic” — copied from models or mediators whose objects of desire become our own. Girard’s interdisciplinary approach allows him to shed new light on religion, spirituality, and redemption in Dostoevsky’s writing, culminating in a revelatory discussion of the author’s spiritual understanding and personal integration. Resurrection is an essential and thought-provoking companion to Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.
Published by: Michigan State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Foreword: René Girard since 1996
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Much has happened in René Girard’s life and work since I wrote the original foreword to this text in 1996. Girard has published three major works,1 plus other books and articles. There are now...
Foreword: René Girard
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From one perspective René Girard has lived a quiet, uneventful life. But viewed from another angle, it has been a life of daring and courage. One view is that of the professor and family man, married for forty-fi ve years, father of three children, grandfather of seven. For...
A Biographical Prologue
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For Dostoevsky scholars and those who are familiar with his work and historical context, this brief biographical sketch will not be necessary. For any other readers, however, it should be...
Chronology of Feodor Dostoevsky
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Resurrection from the Underground: Feodor Dostoevsky
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1. Descent into the Inferno
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Contemporary critics readily say that writers create themselves in creating their work. This formula is eminently applicable to Dostoevsky as long as one does not confuse this twofold creative process with the acquisition of a technique or even with the perfect...
2. Underground Psychology
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In certain respects the Dostoevsky of The Insulated and Injured is more alienated from his own proper genius than the Dostoevsky of The Double. It is even this remoteness—one is tempted to say this straying—that suggests a rupture is inevitable. But only the rupture
3. Underground Metaphysics
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After Notes from the Underground, Dostoevsky composed Crime and Punishment, the work that was for a long time, and perhaps remains yet, his most celebrated. Raskolnikov is a solitary dreamer, subject to alternations of exaltation and depression. He is obsessed with...
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The Shatov episode commences an overcoming of Slavophil ideology, and with the Kirillov episode is begun an overcoming of nihilism, both of which will be accomplished in The Brothers Karamazov (1880). The...
Postface: Mimetic Desire in the Underground
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I am grateful to my good friend James Williams for translating and editing with great care the foregoing essay on Dostoevsky. When I wrote it I had just published the original French version...
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Books by René Girard
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Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Studies in Violence, Mimesis, and Culture Series
Series Editor Byline: William A. Johnsen, Series Editor