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Literature’s MVP, Dostoevsky If literature is a game, then Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of literature’s most talented and respected players. All of Dostoevsky’s works are not only highlyregarded by his readers, but also scholars of literature. Sigmund Freud stated thatDostoevsky’s place in literature is “...not far behind Shakespeare” (Freud 972). Thenovel most commonly referred to as his masterpiece is Crime and Punishment. Thisnovel is written with such genius that practically anyone could enjoy it (anyone whowould be willing to read a five hundred page novel, that is). Dostoevsky uses manydevices to keep his reader’s attention. He uses the timeless intrigue of a detectivestory but still produces an intellectually challenging novel. Crime and Punishmentcan be read and enjoyed by the average reader, but also challenges the intellectuallysuperior reader by the use of psychological insights. Crime and Punishment’scharacters are filled with deep psychological and spiritual questions that haunt thereader long after the story is read.Janko Lavrin stated that Dostoevsky tapped into “...the most hidden recessesof man’s soul and spirit, he was the first European novelist to explore theunconscious and to annex it wholesale to modern literature...” (973-4). VictorTerras elucidates one of the fundamental differences in the psychologicaldevelopment of Dostoevsky’s characters and other nineteenth-century novelists’characters: They are developed centrifugally rather than centripitally. As the novelprogresses, the reader keeps discovering new character traits in aDostoevskian hero, and some of these traits will come quite unexpected. As a result the character in question keeps growing fuller,more complex, and more intriguing...Dostoevsky himself did notbelieve in psychological determinism and insisted on the double-edgednature of all psychological analysis. (Terras...

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