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LIT 24 — Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 17—Mar 21
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Jan 30
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Anne Hruska
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Jan 17—Mar 21
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 30
2 Units
Anne Hruska
The novel The Brothers Karamazov is widely recognized as Dostoevsky’s masterpiece. Written near the end of his life, as Dostoevsky was mourning the loss of his beloved three-year-old son Alyosha, The Brothers Karamazov is both a gripping story of murder and revenge, and a profound exploration of faith, freedom, love, and loss.

The Brothers Karamazov
was ferociously popular among the Russian reading public when it was first published in 1879–1880. In part, that was because it is such tremendous fun to read, with a melodramatic plot filled with twists and turns, a murder mystery, lust, violence, jealousy, and multiple crises of faith.The novel also hit at the heart of some of the most burning social issues of the day: political repression and radical violence, child abuse, and the possibility of constructing a new social world in the wake of the emancipation of the serfs. But Dostoevsky gives these concrete social issues a timeless philosophical weight by tying them to larger ideas of faith and atheism, sin and redemption, and the distant, almost impossible, hope for brotherhood on Earth. In this course, we will read The Brothers Karamazov in the context of its historical times, and explore the philosophical and religious arguments at its heart.

Anne Hruska, English and Russian Literature Instructor, Stanford Online High School

Anne Hruska was a fellow in the Introduction to the Humanities program at Stanford; she has also taught at UC Berkeley and the University of Missouri. Hruska’s research focuses on the intersection between the political and the emotional in the 19th-century novel, particularly the depiction of serfdom and emancipation in 19th-century Russian prose. She has published numerous articles on 19th-century Russian literature. She received a PhD in Slavic literature from UC Berkeley.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Fyodor Dostoevsky (Author), Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator), The Brothers Karamazov (ISBN 9780374528379)