Russia’s Gospel Writer

Dostoevsky & the Affirmation of Life by Predrag Cicovacki
Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction by Rowan Williams

reviewed by Ralph C. Wood

The literary critic Harold Bloom once defined a classic as a book that requires us permanently to rearrange the furniture of our lives. He meant, I suspect, that such a text prevents us from viewing the world through conventional lenses; it requires us not only to see the world with cleansed vision but also to reorder our lives accordingly. T. S. Eliot defined literary greatness in similar terms. “The majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions: Dante’s [Divine Comedy] is . . .

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Ralph C. Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His books include The Comedy of Redemption, The Gospel According to Tolkien, and Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South.

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