The Karamazov Brothers

By Fyodor Dostoevsky; Ignat Avsey | Go to book overview
Save to active project

FROM THE AUTHOR

EVEN as I begin to relate the life story of my hero, Aleksei Fyodorovich Karamazov, I feel somewhat perplexed. The reason is this: although I refer to Aleksei Fyodorovich as my hero, I know very well that he is by no means a great man, and I foresee inevitable questions such as: What makes this Aleksei Fyodorovich so special; why have you chosen him as your hero? What exactly has he done? Who has heard of him, and in what connection? Why should I, the reader, spend my time studying the history of his life?

This last question is the most important, and all I can say is: perhaps you'll find out for yourself from the novel. But what if my readers should read the novel and fail to find out, fail to agree that there is anything remarkable about my Aleksei Fyodorovich? I say this because, sadly, that is precisely what I foresee. To me he is remarkable, but I very much doubt whether I can convince the reader of this. The point is that, in a sense, he is a man of action, but one of indeterminate character, whose mission is undefined. Still, it would be strange in times like ours to expect to find clarity in anyone. One thing, however, is indisputable: he is an odd, not to say eccentric, figure. But oddity and eccentricity, far from commanding attention, are calculated to undermine reputations, especially at a time when everybody is striving to unify what is disparate and to find some kind of common meaning in our universal chaos. And in most cases the eccentric is the very essence of individuality and isolation, is he not?

Should you not agree with this last thesis, however, and reply, 'It is not so', or 'not always so', then I might perhaps take heart over the significance of my hero, Aleksei Fyodorovich. For not only is an eccentric 'not always' a man apart and isolated, but, on the contrary, it may be he in particular who sometimes represents the very essence of his epoch, while others of his generation, for whatever reason, will drift aimlessly in the wind.

Now, I would not have indulged in these tedious and obscure explanations, I would simply have got on with my story, without

-5-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Karamazov Brothers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 1018

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?