First Words: On Dostoevsky's Introductions

First Words: On Dostoevsky's Introductions

by Lewis Bagby


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Dostoevsky attached introductions to his most challenging narratives, including Notes from the House of the Dead, Notes from Underground, The Devils, The Brothers Karamazov, and “A Gentle Creature.” Despite his clever attempts to call his readers’ attention to these introductions, they have been neglected as an object of study for over 150 years. That oversight is rectified in First Words, the first systematic study of Dostoevsky’s introductions. Using Genette’s typology of prefaces and Bakhtin’s notion of multiple voices, Lewis Bagby reveals just how important Dostoevsky’s first words are to his fiction. Dostoevsky’s ruses, verbal winks, and backward glances indicate a lively and imaginative author at earnest play in the field of literary discourse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618118134
Publisher: Academic Studies Press
Publication date: 05/30/2018
Series: The Unknown Nineteenth Century
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 222
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lewis Bagby, Professor Emeritus of Russian, The University of Wyoming, is the author of Alexander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky and Russian Byronism and editor of A Hero of Our Times: Critical Articles. He has published widely on Russian Romanticism, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Bakhtin.

Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration



Chapter 1: Model Prefaces from Russian Literature

Chapter 2: Dostoevsky’s Initial Post-Siberian Work

Chapter 3: Playing with Authorial Identities

Chapter 4: Monsters Roam the Text

Chapter 5: Re-Contextualizing Introductions

Chapter 6: Anxious to the End




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