Review by Choice Review
The product of Dostoevsky's first visit to Western Europe-primarily Paris and London-in the summer of 1862, the relatively brief Winter Notes is remarkable in at least two ways, First, it contains a brilliant effort toward a delineation of the French and English national characters, in a tradition begun some 80 years earlier by Denis Fonvizin. Second, it outlines Dostoevsky's mature theories on the Russian national character, views he would continue to elaborate for the 20 years remaining to him. This work has always been a relatively neglected item in the Dostoevsky canon. When the first edition of this translation appeared in 1955, only one other English translation existed; and Winter Notes has fared little better in the intervening years. Here FitzLyon has revised his translation slightly and inserted a new two-page preface before a short but helpful introduction (which has been made even shorter this time by the dropping of the final paragraph.) He provides sufficient notes to elucidate points for the reader unacquainted with certain details of Russian culture (Dostoevsky, a writer and no scholar, was not always precise in his references in any case). The translation is quite readable, accurate but not slavishly subservient to the original. Libraries without the 1955 edition should buy this one. 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.