By Maria Bloshteyn
At first look, the works of Fedor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) don't seem to have a lot in universal with these of the debatable American author Henry Miller (1891-1980). although, the influencer of Dostoevsky on Miller used to be, in reality, huge, immense and formed the latter's view of the area, of literature, and of his personal writing. The Making of a Counter-Culture Icon examines the obsession that Miller and his contemporaries, the so-called Villa Seurat circle, had with Dostoevsky, and the effect that this obsession had all alone work.
Renowned for his mental therapy of characters, Dostoevsky grew to become a version for Miller, Lawrence Durrell, and Anais Nin, as they have been in constructing a brand new form of writing that will circulation past staid literary conventions. Maria Bloshteyn argues that, as Dostoevsky used to be excited about representing the individual's conception of the self and the area, he turned an archetype for Miller and the opposite individuals of the Villa Seurat circle, writers who have been attracted to particular mental characterizations in addition to interesting narratives. Tracing the cross-cultural appropriation and (mis)interpretation of Dostoevsky's equipment and philosophies by way of Miller, Durrell, and Nin, The Making of a Counter-Culture Icon provides necessary perception into the early careers of the Villa Seurat writers and testifies to Dostoevsky's impression on twentieth-century literature.
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Additional resources for The Making of a Counter-Culture Icon: Henry MIller’s Dostoevsky
Numerous American writers confirmed the powerful connection between Dostoevsky’s writings and the spirit of the age. In 1917, Randolph Bourne commented on Dostoevsky’s ‘superb modern healthiness’ that made it impossible ‘not to think of Dostoevsky as a living author when his books come regularly, as they are coming, to the American public every few months. Our grandfathers sixty years ago are said to have lived their imaginative lives in anticipation of the next instalment of Dickens or Thackeray.
Both the place and time when Miller first heard Dostoevsky’s name would gain a mystical significance in his eyes, invoked repeatedly in his texts as a life- and consciousness-altering event. In interviews given throughout his life, in his voluminous correspondence, and in his prolific writings Miller provided countless testimonials about his highly emotional and devotional view of Dostoevsky as a brother figure and literary hero. What is more, Miller, whose literary enthusiasms were both numerous and wildly eclectic, remained loyal to Dostoevsky throughout his long life.
50 This is a just observation, with one important addition: while a study of this kind rarely provides major new insights into the life and work of Dostoevsky, it certainly provides new and vital insights into ‘Dostoevsky’ – the constructed total image of the writer and his body of work as it exists in the cultural milieu in which the specific readings of Dostoevsky are enacted. A study of the Villa Seurat group’s reading of Dostoevsky is important on several different levels. First, it allows us a close look into the mind and work of Henry Miller, a fascinating and influential writer, whose Tropic of Cancer was included in the Modern Library’s list of the most important books of the twentieth century, and, to a lesser extent, into the work of Nin and Durrell, two writers who made their own independent marks on twentieth-century literature.
The Making of a Counter-Culture Icon: Henry MIller’s Dostoevsky by Maria Bloshteyn