Dostoevsky’s Pilgrimage: Aesthetics and Ascesis in “The Brothers Karamazov”

May 17, 2011
Social Sciences, Room 122
1126 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Robert BirdUniversity of Chicago

Co-sponsored by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Dostoevsky’s final novel, set partly in a monastery, continues to shape contemporary images of Orthodox Christian monasticism and ascetic practice. Bird will examine how well Dostoevsky actually knew this milieu and this tradition, and how profoundly his knowledge affected his writing of The Brothers Karamazov. This will serve as a case study for the broader question of the influence of the Orthodox Christian ascetic tradition on modern Russian aesthetics.

Robert Bird is Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the College. His interests include Modern Russian literature, cinema, aesthetic theory, and intellectual history. He is author of Andrei Tarkovsky: Elements of Cinema and The Russian Prospero: The creative universe of Viacheslav Ivanov.