Old and New Masters (Paperback)

By Robert Lynd

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 9781499150964, 106pp.

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/9/2015)
Paperback (12/30/2014)
Paperback (2/10/2014)
Paperback (11/1/2008)
Hardcover (11/14/2008)
Hardcover (5/9/2016)
Hardcover (5/9/2016)
Hardcover (5/10/2016)
Hardcover (9/18/2015)
Hardcover (5/9/2016)
Paperback (12/18/2014)
Hardcover, Large Print (8/18/2008)
Hardcover (8/18/2008)
Paperback (5/27/2018)
Paperback (2/22/2016)
Paperback (10/11/2007)
Paperback (1/2/2015)
Paperback, Large Print (5/29/2008)

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Mr. George Moore once summed up Crime and Punishment as "Gaboriau with psychological sauce." He afterwards apologized for the epigram, but he insisted that all the same there is a certain amount of truth in it. And so there is. Dostoevsky's visible world was a world of sensationalism. He may in the last analysis be a great mystic or a great psychologist; but he almost always reveals his genius on a stage crowded with people who behave like the men and women one reads about in the police news. There are more murders and attempted murders in his books than in those of any other great novelist. His people more nearly resemble madmen and wild beasts than normal human beings. He releases them from most of the ordinary inhibitions. He is fascinated by the loss of self-control-by the disturbance and excitement which this produces, often in the most respectable circles. He is beyond all his rivals the novelist of "scenes." His characters get drunk, or go mad with jealousy, or fall in epileptic fits, or rave hysterically. If Dostoevsky had had less vision he would have been Strindberg. If his vision had been aesthetic and sensual, he might have been D'Annunzio. Like them, he is a novelist of torture. Turgenev found in his work something Sadistic, because of the intensity with which he dwells on cruelty and pain. Certainly the lust of cruelty-the lust of destruction for destruction's sake-is the most conspicuous of the deadly sins in Dostoevsky's men and women. He may not be a "cruel author." Mr. J. Middleton Murry, in his very able "critical study," Dostoevsky, denies the charge indignantly. But it is the sensational drama of a cruel world that most persistently haunts his imagination.