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Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground
by Elizabeth A. Blake
Northwestern University Press, 2014
Paper: 978-0-8101-3984-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-2957-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6756-8
Library of Congress Classification PG3328.Z7R42236 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.733

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

While Dostoevsky’s relation to religion is well-trod ground, there exists no comprehensive study of Dostoevsky and Catholicism. Elizabeth Blake’s ambitious and learned Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground fills this glaring omission in the scholarship. Previous commentators have traced a wide-ranging hostility in Dostoevsky’s understanding of Catholicism to his Slavophilism. Blake depicts a far more nuanced picture. Her close reading demonstrates that he is repelled and fascinated by Catholicism in all its medieval, Reformation, and modern manifestations. Dostoevsky saw in Catholicism not just an inspirational source for the Grand Inquisitor but a political force, an ideological wellspring, a unique mode of intellectual inquiry, and a source of cultural production. Blake’s insightful textual analysis is accompanied by an equally penetrating analysis of nineteenth-century European revolutionary history, from Paris to Siberia, that undoubtedly influenced the evolution of Dostoevsky’s thought.


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