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Synopsis

The Brothers Karamazov has had a deep influence on many writers and philosophers that followed it. Sigmund Freud called it "the most magnificent novel ever written" and was fascinated with the book for its Oedipal themes. In 1928 Freud published a paper titled "Dostoevsky and Parricide" in which he investigated Dostoyevsky's own neuroses. Freud claimed that Dostoyevsky's epilepsy was not a natural condition but instead a physical manifestation of the author's hidden guilt over his father's death. According to Freud, Dostoyevsky (and all other sons) wished for the death of his father because of latent desire for his mother; and as evidence Freud cites the fact that Dostoyevsky's epileptic fits did not begin until he turned 18, the year his father died. The themes of patricide and guilt, especially in the form of moral guilt illustrated by Ivan Karamazov, would then obviously follow for Freud as literary evidence of this theory...

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