Debating Dostoevsky and literature

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If for some odd reason you read this blog but have yet to read Dan Green’s post on Dostoevsky and the resulting commentary – including James Wood and others – please do so as soon as you are able.  Intelligent, snarky, confusing, and thought provoking – it’s all there.

I want to make a note of something Wood said in the comments for future reference:

But then Green is hostile to ideas in fiction; he is a formalist fatalist (see his earlier post) for whom fiction, over the centuries, simply discloses not the world, nor ideas, but ideas about how fiction gets written…It is an astonishingly narrow view of the novel, and it needs to be said again and again that fiction does EVERYTHING: it is about itself, and it is also about the world; it is about sentences, and also about lives; it is form, and it is also politics, metaphysics, ideas. We don’t have to choose.

I want to come back to this when I have time because I think it does get to something that is very different about the way Dan and I approach literature.

About the author

Kevin Holtsberry

I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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