PREFACE [chapter]

1975 Dostoevskij and Schiller  
PREFACE Dostoevski's relationship to Schiller has frequently been discussed, but never examined in a full-scale study. Such a study is justified by the intrinsic interest of the subject, as well as by the fact that the nature and extent of Schiller's influence upon Dostoevski's fiction are still debatable issues. Critics such as Dmitrij Cizevskij and Kurt Wais, whose investigations belong to the more extensive ones, assume that the influence was, indeed, very profound and bear this out in their
more » ... r this out in their respective interpretations. 1 However, both deal mainly with Schiller's impact upon Dostoevskij in terms of one novel, The Brothers Karamazov. While this is clearly the work on which Schiller left the strongest imprint, the culmination of his influence was preceded by a long and complex history. In order fully to understand the wide range of Schillerian motifs in Dostoevski's last novel, it is necessary to know something about the earlier stages of this relationship. Much work also remains to be done on The Brothers Karamazov in relation to Schiller. While Meier-Graefe, Reizov, 2 and the abovementioned critics have isolated most of the elements which are traceable to the German writer, they have largely neglected to show how these elements -themes, motifs, and philosophical ideas -function within the novelistic structure. Only a thorough analysis of their artistic elaboration can reveal the true significance of Schiller's contribution to the novel. This means that the subject to be discussed intersects with another one, namely, the compositional patterns of Dostoevski's fiction. Much of the material in chapters three and four pertain, indirectly, to this aspect of his work. Being able to determine the provenience of a motif or a theme means little unless it is shown how the material bor-1 "Schiller und die 'Briider Karamazov'," Zeitschrift fur slavische Philologie 6 (1929), 1-42, and "Schillers Wirkungsgeschichte im Ausland," Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift fur Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte 29 (1955), 475-508. 1 B. G. Reizov, "K istorii zamysla 'Brat'ev Karamazovyx'," Zven'ja VI (M.-L., 1936), 545-573.
doi:10.1515/9783110878592-001 fatcat:cay6fe2aozbsvhdnyyvrmyqov4