Author: Feodor Dostoevky
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (2004)
Pages: 760 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Bilingual English-Arabic version of the Russian classic “The Brothers Karamazov”.
Dual language books. The English and Arabic pages are facing each other, matching one-on-one with English on the left page, Arabic on the right page. Easy reference for individuals not strong in one of the languages. Well known fiction titles for different interests and levels.
Description of Book:
Dostoyevsky began his first notes for The Brothers Karamazov in April 1878. Several influences can be gleaned from the very early stages of the novel's genesis. The first involved the profound effect the Russian philosopher and thinker Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov had on Dostoevsky at this time of his life. Fyodorov advocated a Christianity in which human redemption and resurrection could occur on earth through sons redeeming the sins of their fathers to create human unity through a universal family. The tragedy of patricide in this novel becomes much more poignant as a result because it is a complete inversion of this ideology. The brothers in the story do not resurrect their father but instead are complicit in his murder, which in itself represents complete human disunity for Dostoyevsky.
Though religion and philosophy profoundly influenced Dostoyevsky in his life and in The Brothers Karamazov, a much more personal tragedy altered the course of this work. In May 1878, Dostoyevsky's novel was interrupted by the death of his three-year-old son Alyosha. As tragic as this would be under any circumstances, Alyosha's death was especially devastating for Dostoyevsky because the child died of epilepsy, a condition he inherited from his father. The novelist's grief for his young son is readily apparent throughout the book; Dostoyevsky made Alyosha the name of the stated hero of the novel, as well as imbuing him with all of the qualities he himself most admired and sought after. This heartbreak also appears in the novel as the story of Captain Snegiryov and his young son Ilyusha.
A very personal experience also influenced Dostoevsky's choice for a patricide to dominate the external action of the novel. In the 1850s, while serving his katorga (forced labor) sentence in Siberia for circulating politically subversive texts, Dostoevsky encountered the young man Ilyinsky who had been convicted of killing his father to acquire an inheritance. Nearly ten years after this encounter Dostoevsky learned that Ilyinsky had been falsely convicted and later exonerated when the actual murderer confessed to the crime. The impact of this encounter on the author is readily apparent in the novel, as it serves as much of the driving force for the plot. Many of the physical and emotional characteristics of the character Dmitri Karamazov are closely paralleled to those of Ilyinsky.
Although it was written in the 19th century, The Brothers Karamazov displays a number of modern elements. Dostoevsky composed the book with a variety of literary techniques that led many of his critics to characterize his work as "slipshod". The most pertinent example that comes across to the reader is the omniscient narrator. Though he is privy to many of the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists, he is a self-proclaimed writer, and characterizes his own mannerisms so often throughout the novel that he becomes a character himself. Through his descriptions the narrator's voice merges imperceptibly into the tone of the people he is describing. Thus, there is no voice of authority in the story (see Mikhail Bakhtin "Problems of Dostoyevsky’s Art: Polyphony and Unfinalizability" for more on the relationship between Dostoevsky and his characters). This technique enhances the theme of truth, making the tale itself completely subjective.
Speech is another technique that Dostoevsky employs uniquely in this work. Every character has a unique manner of speaking which expresses much of the inner personality of each person. For example, The attorney Fetyukovich is characterized by malapropisms (e.g. 'robbed' for 'stolen', and at one point declares five possible suspects in the murder 'irresponsible' rather than innocent). Several plot digressions provide insight into other, apparently minor characters. For example, the narrative in Book Six is almost entirely devoted to the story of Zosima's biography, which in itself contains a confession from a man Zosima met many years before who seems to have nothing at all to do with the events chronicled in the main plot.
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.