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Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (Oneworld…
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Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (Oneworld Classics) (edição 2009)

por Fyodor Dostoevsky, Kyril FitzLyon (Tradutor)

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In June 1862, Dostoevsky left Petersburg on his first excursion to Western Europe. Ostensibly making the trip to consult Western specialists about his epilepsy, he also wished to see firsthand the source of the Western ideas he believed were corrupting Russia. Over the course of his journey he visited a number of major cities, including Berlin, Paris, London, Florence, Milan, and Vienna. His impressions on what he saw, "Winter Notes on Summer Impressions", were first published in the February 1863 issue of Vremya (Time), the periodical he edited.… (mais)
Membro:avanhilten
Título:Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (Oneworld Classics)
Autores:Fyodor Dostoevsky
Outros autores:Kyril FitzLyon (Tradutor)
Informação:Oneworld Classics (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 160 pages
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Winter Notes on Summer Impressions por Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The most striking acknowledgment I might make is the timelessness of Dostoyevsky's written observations. Though a travelogue, this slim notebook focuses on people instead of places, and became rather personal and revealing as to the thoughts and feelings of this rather gifted, but acrimonious, man. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 23, 2016 |
In June 1862, while the American Civil War raged, and France aimed to expand its colonial power both in Central America and in the Far East, forming Cochinchina in Vietnam, Fyodor Dostoevsky undertook his first trip to Western Europe, a visit he had long looked forward to. Dostoevsky traveled to London, various German cities, including Cologne, Berlin and Dresden, Northern Italy, visiting Florence and Milan, and spent considerable time in Paris. He spent exactly two-and-a-half months traveling around Europe.

In the first chapter of Winter notes on summer impressions, Dostoevsky declines describing his trip, and referring to the short travel time modestly suggests that he has little factual to report about Europe, believing that most cosmopolitan Russians would know at least as much about Europe merely from reading the newspapers. Within the short time given to him, the author suggests he has merely collected a number of impressions. Therefore, there are no travel descriptions.

Rather, the essay, consisting of eight chapters almost exclusively deals with the ideas Dostoevsky formed on the French after his return to Russia. These notes, were written down in winter. The juxtaposition of the light impressions versus the moody winter notes, perhaps explain the stern tone of the essay.

It is obvious that as a result of his trip to Europe, Dostoevsky idealized idea of France changed to relentless criticism of France, and the realization that Russia had nothing to learn from France. In Winter notes on summer impressions Dostoevsky mainly criticises the French. In the essays Dostoevsky gradually builds his argument referring to domestic authors and critics whose attitudes toward France were known to his readers. Dostoevsky himself had served a prison sentence, as he was arrested as a member of a group that proposed reform in Russia, but was feared for potential revolutionary aspirations, particularly shortly after the revolutionary year 1848.

In 2008, Winter notes on summer impressions appeared in a new edition published by OneWorld Classics. This edition has a very useful preface, written by the translator, footnotes and extra materials, as well as biographical materials on Dostoevsky. Without the notes and the preface, Winter notes on summer impressions would be very difficult to understand. To modern readers, the essay would merely be a criticism of France, which appears most clearly in the final chapters. Unfortunately, neither the critical apparatus attached to this edition, nor the work itself bears out what made Dostoevsky change his mind about France and the role of France as an example for Russia. Winter notes on summer impressions shows that this change took place, but does not explain how that happened.

According to the translator, Kyril Fitzlyon, Winter notes on summer impressions is essential reading for the understanding of Dostoevsky's later works. While that opinion may be justified for professional readers of Dostoevsky's literary work, the argument does not seem to hold for all readers alike. ( )
  edwinbcn | Dec 25, 2013 |
Not Dostoevsky at his best, but interesting enough. Not so much a reminisence of his first European jaunt, as a sustained attack on European, and particularly French, bourgeoise society. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Mar 30, 2013 |
I'll start off by saying that this is an excellent edition: it includes photos of Dostoevsky and his family, a thoughtful preface by Kyril FitzLyon, and fascinating "extra material" on his life and works by Ignat Avsey which was one of the better accounts I've read.

Dostoevsky's life was beset with such angst and passion: his mother's death when he was 16, his father's murder by his peasants when he was 18, his own death sentence for subversive activity pardoned at the last moment, the subsequent sentence to four years hard labor and ten years exile in Siberia, his passionate love of Maria Dmitrievna who played with his affections before finally marrying him, his extreme gambling addiction which had him gambling with a mistress while on his honeymoon and frequently pawning his possessions, his severe epilepsy which led to Maria despising and shunning him, his constant debt, and lastly his second marriage to his stenographer, 25 years his junior, who had helped him crank out "The Gambler" in 26 days to satisfy an onerous contract he had signed ... it's all phenomenal.

At his best Dostoevsky channels this into writing which is sincere, raw, and spiritual, writing in which it is evident that he cares deeply for his country and for the brotherhood of mankind.

There are certainly elements of that here, in "Winter Notes on Summer Impressions", but this book also shows Dostoevsky at his worst, where he lets his troubles fester into rambling stereotypes of the West, and in particular, France. Frankly I got the idea that he didn't often go see the sights or meet the people in the places he visited, that he more often curled up in a cafe, forming judgements based on conversations with political exiles or his own thoughts after seeing people in passing.

Highlights include the insights into his frame of mind that informs us relative to his major novels which followed (e.g. criticizing Russia for looking to the West while at the same time knowing Russia could stand improvement, and criticizing the West for being phony, which was counter to the very sincerity which oozes out of Dostoevsky). Relative to actual observations while traveling there were very few - but the heartbreaking images of child prostitution he portrays in London's Haymarket are memorable.

Lowlights were all of the generalizations, they go too far and get too personal about the French. Chapter 8, the final chapter, is an awful rant without a shred of connection to his actual travels, and the book ends very oddly. Dostoevsky also clings to the past, which in some cases, yes, even in beloved Russia, is just wrong - the defense of wife-beating is painful to read. Here his issue is not the wife beating, it's the hypocrisy of pretending to be European while continuing to beat one's wife, thus losing the respect of those beaten - it would be all the same to him if it was, as in the "ol' days", just done as a part of the natural order. That probably sound uglier than it is in the book, and I don't mean to judge the 19th century with a 21st century mindset.

As the book contains his personal opinions in the form of these "notes", it does provide insight into what made him tick. With Doestoevsky I get the idea that he would be the brooding, aloof guy at a party, intellectual, sensitive, and depressed, and while he would be contemptuous of a light and carefree type like Turgenev who would be having the time of his life, he would also at his heart be envious of him.

Dostoevsky is far from perfect but always compelling. This is not great writing but because of the additional material and because it's a relatively short, easy read, I would recommend it to fans, but only to true fans.

Favorite quote, from when he was near the tombs of Voltaire and Rousseau:

"How odd!" I said to him. "Of these two great men one spent his life calling the other a liar and a wretch, and the other simply called the first a fool. And here they have come together, almost next to each other."

... Similar to Turgenev and Dostoevsky on my bookshelf. :-) ( )
  gbill | Apr 25, 2010 |
In the summer of 1862 Dostoevsky made his first trip to Europe. This was a milestone in his life. From his childhood and adolescence, European literature had been his passion; as a young man, he had espoused the latest French socialist ideas current among the Petrashevsky circle; as a member of the Russian intelligentsia, Europe and its culture generally had been at the forefront of his education and his mental life just as much as Russia and her culture had. Now, for the first time in his life, the entire land of holy wonders unfolded before him in all its complex reality. Winter Notes on Summer Impressions is Dostoevsky’s account of his trip, published the following year in his journal Time. As its title suggests, the book has a double focus: winter meditations, and the summer impressions which inspired them. It includes descriptions of his train journey there, descriptions of London and Paris, and portraits of people he meets (summer impressions). At the same time it is an important document in the emergence of Dostoevsky’s own social/philosophical thought (winter notes): Allow me, after all, these are winter recollections of summer impressions. So the winter is mixed in with the summer....

Read the full review on The Lectern:

http://thelectern.blogspot.com/2009/05/so-you-require-mere-chatter-light.html ( )
3 vote tomcatMurr | May 8, 2009 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (11 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Fyodor Dostoevskyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Kartano, TiinaTradutorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Avsey, IgnatContribuidorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
FitzLyon, KyrilTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Morson, Gary SaulPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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It is usual to divide Dostoevsky's literary activity into two distinct periods.
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For months, now, my friends, you have been urging me to give you a description of my impressions while travelling in foreign lands, never suspecting that you are thereby placing me in a quandary.
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In June 1862, Dostoevsky left Petersburg on his first excursion to Western Europe. Ostensibly making the trip to consult Western specialists about his epilepsy, he also wished to see firsthand the source of the Western ideas he believed were corrupting Russia. Over the course of his journey he visited a number of major cities, including Berlin, Paris, London, Florence, Milan, and Vienna. His impressions on what he saw, "Winter Notes on Summer Impressions", were first published in the February 1863 issue of Vremya (Time), the periodical he edited.

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