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Dostoevsky and the Literature of the American South

Dostoevsky and the Literature of the American South Dostoevsky and the Literature of the American South by Maria Bloshteyn Many prominent southern writers, including William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Walker Percy, among others, have attested to the importance of Fedor Dostoevsky to their work. Many of these writers suggested that they identifi ed with Dostoevsky not just as American writers but specifi cally as southern writers and that their southern heritage had a lot to do both with their attraction to and interpretation of Dostoevsky’s novels. It is surprising then that there are virtually no scholarly evaluations of Dos- toevsky’s impact on southern writers as a group. Certainly, isolated and cursory remarks on the issue of Dostoevsky’s reception by southerners may be found in the studies of individual south- ern writers, but even Jean Weisgerber, the author of the only book-length study discussing Dostoevsky’s infl uence on a southern writer (Faulkner et Dostoië ë ëvski; Confl uences et infl uences s [1968]), in which he attempts to provide some context for Faulkner’s reading of Dostoevsky, avoids the subject entirely. Several interesting observations on Dostoevsky’s impor- tance to southern writers are made in A. N. Nikoliukin’s pre-Perestroika Soviet study, Vzaimosviazi literatur Rossii i SShA; http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Dostoevsky and the Literature of the American South

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 37 (1) – Jan 11, 2005

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Dostoevsky and the Literature of the American South by Maria Bloshteyn Many prominent southern writers, including William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Walker Percy, among others, have attested to the importance of Fedor Dostoevsky to their work. Many of these writers suggested that they identifi ed with Dostoevsky not just as American writers but specifi cally as southern writers and that their southern heritage had a lot to do both with their attraction to and interpretation of Dostoevsky’s novels. It is surprising then that there are virtually no scholarly evaluations of Dos- toevsky’s impact on southern writers as a group. Certainly, isolated and cursory remarks on the issue of Dostoevsky’s reception by southerners may be found in the studies of individual south- ern writers, but even Jean Weisgerber, the author of the only book-length study discussing Dostoevsky’s infl uence on a southern writer (Faulkner et Dostoië ë ëvski; Confl uences et infl uences s [1968]), in which he attempts to provide some context for Faulkner’s reading of Dostoevsky, avoids the subject entirely. Several interesting observations on Dostoevsky’s impor- tance to southern writers are made in A. N. Nikoliukin’s pre-Perestroika Soviet study, Vzaimosviazi literatur Rossii i SShA;

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 11, 2005

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