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This volume contains two concise works by the innovative twentieth-century literary critic Janko Lavrin, offering accessible and thoughtful introductions to the two greatest Russian novelists. It provides a perfect point of access into the often bewildering world of Russian literature, and the troubled geniuses which created it. Tolstoy: An Approach, first published in 1944, is an attempt to interpret Tolstoy as an artist and thinker in light of the twentieth-century experience: specifically, it seeks to discern the relationship between Tolstoy the novelist and Tolstoy the religious pseudo-prophet, thereby articulating the contours of his most essential ethical and psychological insights. In Dostoevsky: A Study, published first in 1943, Lavrin suggests a wide range of valuable observations and intriguing possibilities, exploring the enigmatic and perennially fascinating Dostoevsky in terms of the inter-connections between his life, his thought, his relationships, his writing, and the socio-cultural circumstances in which he found himself.
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