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Alfred Einstein stated Dostoevsky gives me more than any other thinker1 Nicholas Berdyaev was professor of philosophy at the University of Moscow until he was expelled by the Communist regime in 1922 Berdyaev testified that Dostoevsky stirred and lifted up my soul more than any other writer or philosopher has donewhen I turned to Jesus Christ for the first time2 Some would assert that either The Brothers Karamazov pronounced kare-uh-MAHT-tsov or Crime and Punishment is the greatest novel ever written Some thinkers within the Christian camp would claim Dostoevsky as one of our own thereby lending added value to such a study as this II A Brief Biography Fyodor Dostoevsky3 1821-1881 was the son of an ultra-strict Russian Orthodox father who was a medical doctor He would call his sons names eg stupid when they got their recitations wrong He compelled his sons to stand at attention when they spoke to him Thus the young Dostoevsky did not receive a very accurate mirror image of God the Father from his harsh human father When Dostoevsky was 18 years old one of the most formative events of his life occurred His severe father was brutally murdered by his own Russian serfs The corpse lay out in the field for two days and the police never conducted an investigation or made any arrest There is evidence that young Dostoevsky felt something of a guilty complicity in this murderif only perhaps as a death-wish All four of Dostoevskys major novels revolve around a murder and The Brothers Karamazov is constructed around parricide Dostoevsky hit the jackpot with his first novel Poor Folk Russias leading literary critic Belinsky announced a new star had arisen on the literary horizon However because Dostoevskys following works were more personally psychological than social commentaries the radical Belinsky and other Russian writers began to be more severe in their criticism Eventually Dostoevsky became involved in the sociopolitical ferment of his era He joined a
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