The illegitimate son of a landowner, Arkady Dolgoruky was raised by foster parents and tutors, and has scarcely ever seen his father, Versilov, and his mother, Versilov's peasant common-law wife. Arkady goes to Petersburg to meet this accidental family and to confront the father who dominates his imagination and whom he both disdains and longs to impress. Having sewn into his coat a document that he believes gives him power over others, Arkady proceeds with an irrepressible youthful volatility that withstands blunders and humiliations at every turn.
Dostoevsky masterfully depicts adolescence as a state of uncertainty, ignorance, and incompleteness, but also of richness and exuberance, in which everything is still possible. His tale of a youth finding his way in the disorder of Russian society in the 1870s is a high and serious comedy that borders on both farce and tragedy.
"The Adolescent "(originally published in English as "A Raw Youth") is markedly different in tone from Dostoevsky's other masterpieces. It is told from the point of view of the nineteen-year-old narrator, whose immaturity, freshness, and naivete are unforgettably reflected in his narrative voice.
This superb new translation never before published of one of Dostoevsky's major novels comes from the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky s life was as dark and dramatic as the great novels he wrote. He was born in Moscow in 1821. A short first novel, "Poor Folk"(1846) brought him instant success, but his writing career was cut short by his arrest for alleged subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849. In prison he was given the silent treatment for eight months (guards even wore velvet soled boots) before he was led in front a firing squad. Dressed in a death shroud, he faced an open grave and awaited execution, when suddenly, an order arrived commuting his sentence. He then spent four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison, where he began to suffer from epilepsy, and he returned to St. Petersburg only a full ten years after he had left in chains.
His prison experiences coupled with his conversion to a profoundly religious philosophy formed the basis for his great novels. But it was his fortuitous marriage to Anna Snitkina, following a period of utter destitution brought about by his compulsive gambling, that gave Dostoevsky the emotional stability to complete"Crime and Punishment"(1866), "The Idiot"(1868-69), "The Possessed"(1871-72), and"The Brothers Karamazov"(1879-80). When Dostoevsky died in 1881, he left a legacy of masterworks that influenced the great thinkers and writers of the Western world and immortalized him as a giant among writers of world literature.
Richard Pevear has published translations of Alain, Yves Bonnefoy, Alberto Savinio, Pavel Florensky, and Henri Volohonsky, as well as two books of poetry. He has received fellowships or grants for translation from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the French Ministry of Culture.
Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad. She has translated works by the prominent Orthodox theologians Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff into Russian. Together, Pevear and Volokhonsky have translated "Dead Souls and The Collected Tales" by Nikolai Gogol, "The Complete Short Novels of Anton Chekhov," and "The Brothers Karamazov," "Crime and Punishment," "Notes from Underground," "Demons," "The Idiot," and "The Adolescent" by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
They were awarded the PEN Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize for their version of "The Brothers Karamazov," and more recently "Demons" was one of three nominees for the same prize. They are married and live in France."
“In the variety of its happenings, the assortment of its characters, the intensity of its passions, and the effect of its conflicts, The Adolescent is the most captivating of all Dostoevsky’s novels.” –Konstantin Mochulsky, author of Dostoevsky: His Life and Work
Praise for previous translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize:
The Brothers Karamazov
“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review
Crime and Punishment
“The best [translation] currently available…An especially faithful re-creation…with a coiled-spring kinetic energy… Don’t miss it.” –Washington Post Book World
“The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured…The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard version.” –Chicago Tribune
“The merit in this edition of Demons resides in the technical virtuosity of the translators…They capture the feverishly intense, personal explosions of activity and emotion that manifest themselves in Russian life.” –New York Times Book Review
With an Introduction by Richard Pevear