The text of The Brothers Karamazov is removed from English-speaking readers today not only by time but also by linguistic and cultural boundaries. Victor Terras’s companion work provides readers with a richer understanding of the Dostoevsky novel as the expression of a philosophy and a work of art.
In his introduction, Terras outlines the genesis, main ideas, and structural peculiarities of the novel as well as Dostoevsky’s political, philosophical, and aesthetic stance. The detailed commentary takes the reader through the novel, clarifying aspects of Russian life, the novel’s sociopolitical background, and a number of polemic issues. Terras identifies and explains hundreds of literary and biblical quotations and allusions. He discusses symbols, recurrent images, and structural stylistic patterns, including those lost in English translation.