Review by Choice Review
After more than a century of neglect, Winter Notes has recently begun to attract more substantial attention in the English-speaking world. This is the second translation to have been brought out within as many years: the first, a reissue of a much earlier one by Kyril FitzLyon, appeared in 1986 (CH, Feb '87). Dostoevsky's short essay remains what it always was: a stimulating effort at delineating the French, English, and Russian national characters on the basis of observations made during his first visit to Western Europe in the summer of 1862. It incorporates many of the ideas he would express even more powerfully in his great novels. The Patterson translation is accurate enough, but slightly less readable than the FitzLyon version. It is equipped with brief but adequate notes, and with an introduction that applies Bakhtinian ideas of dialogue and monologue to it. Patterson almost declares Winter Notes to be "not simply a text but a text about the process of producing a text," but sensibly pulls up short to keep his discussion within instructive critical bounds, though he constantly threatens to break out of them. This is an appropriate volume to have, at least if a library lacks the FitzLyon edition. Most useful for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. C. A. Moser The George Washington University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
In 1862 Russian novelist Dostoevsky took his first trip to other parts of Europe-- a 10-week excursion to such cities as Berlin, Paris, Florence, and Vienna. His reflections on these places, first published in 1863 in a Russian periodical, have been newly translated into English. They by no means amount to a traditional travelogue but are instead a series of acerbic, petulant, sarcastic, far-seeing, and forever stimulating observations on the types of people he encountered and the character of the nations he visited. Ultimately, these are ruminations on the good and the bad that simultaneously occupy-- or preoccupy-- the human soul. Translator's notes; no index. BH.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.