When Constance Garnett's translations (1910-20) made Dostoevsky's novels accessible in England for the first time they introduced a disruptive and liberating literary force, and English novelists had to confront a new model and rival. The writers who are the focus of this study - Lawrence, Woolf, Bennett, Conrad, Forster, Galsworthy and James - either admired or feared Dostoevsky as a monster who might dissolve all literary and cultural distinctions. Though their responses differed greatly, these writers were unanimous in their inability to recognize Dostoevsky as a literary artist. They viewed him instead as a psychologist, a mystic, a prophet and, in the cases of Lawrence and Conrad, a hated rival who compelled creative response. This study constructs a map of English modernist novelists' misreadings of Dostoevsky, and in so doing it illuminates their aesthetic and cultural values and the nature of the modern English novel.
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(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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