The Nation as Invisible Protagonist in Dickens and Dostoevsky:
Uncovering Hidden Social Forces Within the Text
This book contributes greatly to the study of two important authors from the 19th century, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Charles Dickens, and in looking at these two, is an important work in comparative literary scholarship. Traditionally, studies of Dostoevsky and Dickens have focused on the problems of character and genre. Acknowledging the radically different national traditions that influenced Dostoevsky’s and Dickens’ novels, such studies failed to make a serious attempt to define this difference or to place it within the proper historical context. The historical significance of “national” is usually overlooked. In the 19th century, reference to “National” is highly charged with special meaning since many nations as we know them now appeared during this period and so nationalism was a major influence both in the political and literary arenas of the time. This study examines the impact of nationalism on the content and form of Dostoevsky’s and Dickens’ novels, The Devils and The Bleak House, and journalism. In so doing, it attempts to show what makes the works of the two men so similar, yet so very different.
“Studies of Dickens and Dostoevsky have mostly focused on the problems of character and genre, specifically, the contribution of the two authors to the development of various forms of realism ... Dr. Stuchebrukhov's study takes the question of Dickens and Dostoevsky in a different direction, interweaving the question of narrative form, national identity, and gender in a fresh and innovative fashion ... Dr. Stuchebrukhov shows that Dickens and Dostoevsky modified the structure of the novel and journalism away from the emphasis on linear time and secular content, using the forms of allegory and symbolism in their creation of the image of the ideal nation. Both Dostoevsky and Dickens wanted to find alternatives to the rational modern state, but each had his own idea of what this image should look like.” – (from the Foreword) Professor Harriet Murav, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Table of Contents
Preface by Harriet Murav
ISBN10: 0-7734-5478-0 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-5478-1