The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)


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This information helps us design a better experience for all users. To learn more about cookies, please see our cookie policy. To learn more about how we use and protect your data, please see our privacy policy. Historical Fiction 1. Page 1 of 2 Showing 1 - 48 of 55 Next. The Man that Corrupted Wells Author Arthur C. Clarke Author of introduction, etc. The central novella, The Eternal Husband, didn't hold that much appeal to me, but some of the others -- Bobok, The Meek One, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man -- are solid gold in that best, most absurd and angry and funny way that Russians write.

Stories that breathe flaming fumes. A Nasty Anecdote , also known as An Unpleasant Predicament along with every other possible translation of the words, is not as pristine of plot as D's previous stories. The paralleled figures, Pralinsky and Pseldonymov, seem to be developed fully, but many of the detailed characters like Mlekopitaev remain offstage. The main idea behind the conflict of the story is brilliant, and apropos to the subject matter of the day.

Alexander II had just freed Russia from serfdom, and the intelligentsia were A Nasty Anecdote , also known as An Unpleasant Predicament along with every other possible translation of the words, is not as pristine of plot as D's previous stories. Alexander II had just freed Russia from serfdom, and the intelligentsia were discussing how to relate with their new free fellow citizens.

In the story, Pralinsky argues for his superficial thoughts of "humaneness," which he acts upon, and by cutting the cords of class distinction too early, gets himself and everyone around him into trouble. His type is a dreaming everyman of extremes, with lofty ideals and simultaneously despicable egoism and pretension. Comic quality wins out in the end, though Pralinsky "doesn't hold out.

The Eternal Husband and Other Stories - AbeBooks - Fyodor Dostoevsky:

If I didn't have another translation available I would've been lost. The Eternal Husband as a novella epitomizes Dostoevsky's versatility. Here, he takes a break from political, moral and societal causes, focusing on marriage and fidelity. A man, Velchaninov, lives in guilt and must come to terms with the consequences of his youth.

He eventually comes around to earning the hero position in the work, while balancing his karma through various injustices instigated by the cuckolded husband of his past lover. This husband, Pavel Pavlovich, is a character with no nobility, who appears to learn nothing during the course of the plot. Only Velchaninov sees the horror of their actions on Liza and, to some degree, everyone else in the plot. Ironically, the paralleled characters use guilt on each other, trading it back and forth in every scene.

There are very few women in the cast, amplifying the misguided decisions and responsibilities of the two men. Bobok is a brief tale Dostoevsky published in the first season of his Diary of a Writer while he was editor of The Citizen. As an answer to criticism for his fantastic character types, Dostoevsky creates a gothic circus of absurd characters speaking from the grave. These "undead" happen to be upper class citizens with stereotypically vile and disgusting traits.

Their bodily decay can only be smelled by others, the more evil they are — the more they stink. Much of the allegory here is obvious. The corpses prize their lascivious lifestyles and are not ashamed, as if the only change for them beyond the grave is the unfettering of social inhibitions. Perhaps Dostoevsky considered the new political movements of his day to be a sort of "death" to the upper class.

If so, the voices he heard in the gradually-uncensored journals seemed to be the ugly, remorseless voices of the dead in graves. Further, if this allegory stands, the grave he was lying on of the indignant yet equally repulsive General represents The Citizen. The Meek One also translated A Gentle Creature is a morose account of a man's response to his wife's suicide. After a simple author's intro this story was published in his own journal A Writer's Diary , Dostoevsky uses first person narration to recount the events surrounding the marriage of a lonely pawnbroker and an impoverished orphan.

Usually Dostoevsky's narrators look back on events with a calm understanding — as with Arkady in The Adolescent or Anton Lavrentevich in Demons — though their accounts are sometimes tarnished by their connection to other characters. In this story, Dostoevsky's narrator tortures his sweet wife with first a complete lack of emotional contact, then with his raving, desperate worship.

By the end, the reader understands but the narrator still does not. This is a true denouement — a character doomed to deceive himself and repeat his blunders. The Dream of a Ridiculous Man is the most fantastical and yet most plausible of Dostoevsky's stories by virtue of the dream structure.


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A suicidal existentialist dreams that he dies and is delivered to a perfect world, then unintentionally corrupts it. When he awakes, his faith in life is restored, he preaches the truth of his dream and is ridiculed for it. The genius in Dostoevsky's delivery of the message is his preparation of the perfect narrator — the self-proclaimed "ridiculous man" and his nihilist renunciation of life.

His anguish at bringing sin to the dream utopia redeems him, and he even bizarrely offers himself to be crucified by the natives. I feel that this brief parable of Dostoevsky's is his clearest secular argument against utopianism in general — whether Fourierism or Marxism. It's a convincing one, though his narrator remains an "underground" type, regardless of his reversed solution.

The implication here is that the much-debated topic cannot stand outside of the Christ idea. Dostoevsky is known for his long fiction, and for good reason; it seems that his short stories are hit-and-miss. I gave the book four stars because the stories that I did like I did so much as to counterbalance those that I did not.

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A Nasty Anecdote seemed to be a super-abridged version of a Dostoevsky novel, to the point that the drama and bite inherent in his loner works is watered-down, if not absent. It was a good story, with witty, even embarrassingly hilarious moments, but altogether it fel Dostoevsky is known for his long fiction, and for good reason; it seems that his short stories are hit-and-miss.

It was a good story, with witty, even embarrassingly hilarious moments, but altogether it felt undeveloped, as if Dostoevsky had a brilliant idea for another novel and wrote this story so as to crystallize it for future use, but never went back to it. The Eternal Husband was great, right up until the end. Maybe I'm dull, but I just didn't get it. Throughout the narrative, as things escalated, I expected some great, extravagant ending and some sort of redemption for Velchaninov, even something as subtle as the redemption of the Karamazov family in The Brothers Karamazov, but if there was such a thing, it was too subtle for me to notice.

I felt that Velchaninov and his foil both remained stubbornly static. I don't know, I just wasn't that huge a fan of this one. Bobok was good for what it was. I get the feeling that it was very experimental, especially in Dostoevsky's time, and it was humorous, particularly in its portrayal of the dead. I think it goes without saying, however, that it was impossible to identify with the protagonist, which bothered me.

The Meek One is very aptly subtitled A Fantastic Story, as it is my favorite of this collection of course, I am using 'fantastic' in its modern, daily usage, rather than how Dostoevsky intended it to mean 'a fantasy'. Its a very emotionally engaging story and portrays a man's dealing with his wife's suicide very well, I believe. It was exciting to see how the protagonist changed in his opinion of himself and of his wife as he reminisces, and to see his redemption, despite the fact that it was too late.

It was delightfully heartbreaking, and, along with The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, is the reason I gave the collection four stars. The Dream of a Ridiculous Man was great. As my reader should by now have guessed, I love seeing the redemption of the protagonist, and this story is perhaps the least subtle example of redemption in Dostoevsky's work.

The Christian symbolism in this story is also perhaps the strongest in any of his other works, besides The Brothers Karamazov, going to the point of even having the protagonist offering to have himself crucified for the people he himself corrupted, acting as both the Christ- and devil-figure. Overall, I recommend the last two stories the most. May 27, Marie rated it really liked it. Unfortunately, I had read three of the stories in this five-story collection already. Fortunately, the two I hadn't read were the best of the lot.

I admit it - I picked the book up because I liked the title. I wanted more husband-ing, but there are very few actua Unfortunately, I had read three of the stories in this five-story collection already. I wanted more husband-ing, but there are very few actual moments of being a husband, as the book opens with a single man meeting a widower. Plot twist -- though it takes him a while to realize it, our single man narrator was once the lover of the dead wife.

The widower is the titular "eternal husband" and this is one of those Russian novels that makes sense when you get to the end. The husband of a recent suicide gives a long monologue while standing wake over his dead wife. He describes how they met and how he courted her and how he fell in love with her -- skipping entirely over the wedding as no female author would -- their relationship is strange, he is strange, he's half mad, and the monolog is fragmented by his grief and self-contradictions in a way that feels honest.

View all 3 comments. Many of the classic Dostoevskyan themes can be found here, like the idea that human freedom especially the freedom to be immoral or to debase oneself exposes the lie behind utopian ideals, or that human suffering especially the suffering of children throws a wrench into religious beliefs about universal salvation and eternal harmony. Dostoevsky also sharpens his mastery of the scandalous scene, the set piece that drags out an outrage past endurance.

Jul 14, Amanda Jo rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this collection of stories. Jun 10, Molly rated it it was amazing. Bad ass Russian doing his thing. Just read the story "A Nasty Anecdote" at the moment. Was an interesting diversion, if not much to it. Jul 23, Karan Gupta rated it really liked it Shelves: dostoyevsky , existentialism.

This is another one of those books that I ordered as a step forth in my attempt to complete Dostoyevsky's works. The name of the primary story was somewhat intriguing and Dostoyevsky is always a good bet. Hence I ordered it without much thought. The book turned out to have five short stories, two of which "Bobok" and "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" I had already covered in another compilation. The other three, I read with relish. A very short note about Dostoyevsky's writing in this book : the This is another one of those books that I ordered as a step forth in my attempt to complete Dostoyevsky's works.

A very short note about Dostoyevsky's writing in this book : the translators has chosen a set of stories that focused on Dostoyevsky's idea of the "underground" man. Since I have read only the "underground" stories of Dostoyevsky, I am unable to comprehend a difference. But the stories do seem to have his usual essence reading the introduction might make this point clearer.

The first story, "A Nasty Anecdote", talks of an "actual state councillor" Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky who holds the belief that humaneness can bring the people of Russia together and that is the only way diplomats can be popular among general folks. He debates this with a few friends over drinks and managing to get drunk, on his walk back home tries to make himself an object of an anecdote by going to attend the wedding celebrations of a junior in his department so that people could recount stories of how he "embraced morally" people below his rank.

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The Permanent Husband

Things do not go as expected and at the end of a scandalous dinner, Ivan Pralinsky manages to make himself an object of a nasty anecdote instead. The Eternal Husband is the story of the meeting of a cuckolded middle aged man and his wife's erstwhile lover. This lover, Velachinov, is the protagonist of this story and the other "eternal husband" looks up to him despite all the spite.

It is mutual hatred and contention over their loved ones that leads to multiple meetings between the two. Each trying to justify himself to the other. The third new story in this book : The Meek One, is the ramblings of a husband standing over the corpse of his wife who jumped out of the window. They are he ramblings that explain his distress at finding himself alone once more. He accuses himself; accuses her; looks for ways to justify her acts. Tolstoy or Dostoevsky by George Steiner. Related e. Fyodor Dostoevsky November 11, — February 9, was a Russian writer. His works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century literature.

Dostoevsky often portrayed characters living in poor conditions with equally disparate and troubled states of mind.

The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)
The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)
The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)
The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)
The Eternal Husband (The Art of the Novella)

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