Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, poet, social critic and religious author, considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, morality, ethics and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a "single individual", giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment, he was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, thought that Swedenborg, Fichte, Schelling and Hans Christian Andersen were all "understood" far too by "scholars". Kierkegaard's theological work focuses on Christian ethics, the institution of the Church, the differences between purely objective proofs of Christianity, the infinite qualitative distinction between man and God, the individual's subjective relationship to the God-Man Jesus the Christ, which came through faith.
Much of his work deals with Christian love. He was critical of the practice of Christianity as a state religion that of the Church of Denmark, his psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. Kierkegaard's early work was written under the various pseudonyms that he used to present distinctive viewpoints and to interact with each other in complex dialogue, he explored complex problems from different viewpoints, each under a different pseudonym. He wrote many Upbuilding Discourses under his own name and dedicated them to the "single individual" who might want to discover the meaning of his works. Notably, he wrote: "scholarship want to teach that becoming objective is the way. Christianity teaches that the way is to become subjective, to become a subject." While scientists can learn about the world by observation, Kierkegaard emphatically denied that observation could reveal the inner workings of the world of the spirit. Some of Kierkegaard's key ideas include the concept of "subjective and objective truths", the knight of faith, the recollection and repetition dichotomy, the infinite qualitative distinction, faith as a passion, the three stages on life's way.
Kierkegaard wrote in Danish and the reception of his work was limited to Scandinavia, but by the turn of the 20th century his writings were translated into French and other major European languages. By the mid-20th century, his thought exerted a substantial influence on philosophy and Western culture. Kierkegaard was born to an affluent family in Copenhagen, his mother, Ane Sørensdatter Lund Kierkegaard, had served as a maid in the household before marrying his father, Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard. She was an unassuming figure: quiet and not formally educated, but Henriette Lund, her granddaughter, wrote that she "wielded the sceptre with joy and protected like a hen protecting her chicks", she wielded influence on her children so that Peter said that his brother preserved many of their mother's words in his writings. His father, on the other hand, was a well-to-do wool merchant from Jutland, he was a "very stern man, to all appearances dry and prosaic, but under his'rustic cloak' demeanor he concealed an active imagination which not his great age could blunt".
He was interested in philosophy and hosted intellectuals at his home. The young Kierkegaard read the philosophy of Christian Wolff, he preferred the comedies of Ludvig Holberg, the writings of Georg Johann Hamann, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Edward Young, Plato those referring to Socrates. Copenhagen in the 1830s and 1840s had crooked streets where carriages went. Kierkegaard loved to walk them. In 1848, Kierkegaard wrote, "I had real Christian satisfaction in the thought that, if there were no other, there was one man in Copenhagen whom every poor person could accost and converse with on the street. Our Lady's Church was at one end of the city. At the other end was the Royal Theatre where Fru Heiberg performed. Based on a speculative interpretation of anecdotes in Kierkegaard's unpublished journals a rough draft of a story called "The Great Earthquake", some early Kierkegaard scholars argued that Michael believed he had earned God's wrath and that none of his children would outlive him, he is said to have believed that his personal sins indiscretions such as cursing the name of God in his youth or impregnating Ane out of wedlock, necessitated this punishment.
Though five of his seven children died before he did, both Kierkegaard and his brother Peter Christian Kierkegaard outlived him. Peter, seven years Kierkegaard's elder became bishop in Aalborg. Julia Watkin thought Michael's early interest in the Moravian Church could have led him to a deep sense of the devastating effects of sin. Kierkegaard came to hope that no one would retain their sins though they have been forgiven, and by the same token that no one who believed in the forgiveness of sin would live their own life as an objection against the existence of forgiveness. He made the point; this fear of not finding forgiveness is devastating. Edna H. Hong quoted Kierkegaard in her 1984 book, For
Don Juan Don Giovanni, is a legendary, fictional libertine. Famous versions of the story include a 17th-century play, El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra by Tirso de Molina, an 18th-century opera, Don Giovanni, with music by Mozart and a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. By linguistic extension from the name of the character, Don Juan has become a generic expression for a womanizer, stemming from this, Don Juanism is the name of a psychiatric diagnosis. In Spanish, Don Juan is pronounced; the usual English pronunciation is, with two syllables and a silent "J". However, in Lord Byron's verse version the name rhymes with ruin and true one, suggesting the name was pronounced with three syllables, in England at the time; this would have been characteristic of English literary precedent, where English pronunciations were imposed on Spanish names, such as Don Quixote. There have been many versions of the Don Juan story, but the basic outline remains the same: Don Juan is a wealthy libertine who devotes his life to seducing women.
He takes great pride in his ability to seduce women all ages and stations in life, he disguises himself and assumes other identities in order to seduce women. The aphorism that Don Juan lives by is: "Tan largo me lo fiáis"; this is his way of indicating that he is young and that death is still distant - he thinks he has plenty of time to repent for his sins. His life is punctuated with violence and gambling, in most versions he kills a man: Don Gonzalo, the father of Doña Ana, a girl he has seduced; this murder leads to the famous "last supper" scene, where Don Juan invites a statue of Don Gonzalo to dinner. There are different versions of the outcome: in some versions Don Juan dies, having been denied salvation by God; the first written version of the Don Juan story was a play, El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra, published in Spain around 1630 by Tirso de Molina. In Tirso de Molina's version Don Juan is portrayed as an evil man who seduces women thanks to his ability to manipulate language and disguise his appearance.
This is a demonic attribute, since the devil is known for shapeshifting or taking other peoples' forms. In fact Tirso's play has a clear moralizing intention. Tirso felt that young people were throwing their lives away, because they believed that as long as they made an Act of Contrition before they died, they would automatically receive God's forgiveness for all the wrongs they had done, enter into heaven. Tirso's play argues in contrast that there is a penalty for sin, there are unforgivable sins; the devil himself, identified with Don Juan as a shapeshifter and a "man without a name", cannot escape eternal punishment for his unforgivable sins. As in a medieval Danse Macabre, death makes us all equal in. Tirso de Molina's theological perspective is quite apparent through the dreadful ending of his play. Another aspect of Tirso's play is the cultural importance of honor in Spain of the golden age; this was focused on women's sexual behavior, in that if a woman did not remain chaste until marriage, her whole family’s honor would be devalued.
The original play was written in the Spanish Golden Age according to its ideals. But as time passed, the story was translated into other languages, it was adapted to accommodate cultural changes. Other well-known versions of Don Juan are Molière's play Dom Juan ou le Festin de pierre, Goldoni's play Don Giovanni Tenorio, José de Espronceda's poem El estudiante de Salamanca, José Zorrilla's play Don Juan Tenorio. Don Juan Tenorio is still performed throughout the Spanish-speaking world on November 2. Mozart's opera Don Giovanni is arguably the best-known version. First performed in Prague in 1787, it inspired works by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Alexander Pushkin, Søren Kierkegaard, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Camus; the critic Charles Rosen analyzes the appeal of Mozart's opera in terms of "the seductive physical power" of a music linked with libertinism, political fervor, incipient Romanticism. The first English version of Don Juan was The Libertine by Thomas Shadwell. A revival of this play in 1692 included dramatic scenes with music by Henry Purcell.
Another well-known English version is Lord Byron's epic poem Don Juan. Don Juans Ende, a play derived from an unfinished 1844 retelling of the tale by poet Nikolaus Lenau, inspired Richard Strauss's orchestral tone poem Don Juan; this piece premiered on November 11, 1889, in Weimar, where Strauss served as Court Kapellmeister and conducted the orchestra of the Weimar Opera. In Lenau's version of the story, Don Juan's promiscuity springs from his determination to find the ideal woman. Despairing of finding her, he surrenders to melancholy and wills his own death. In the film The Adventures of Don Juan starring Errol Flynn, Don Juan is a swashbuckling lover of women who fights against the forces of evil. "Don Juan in Tallinn" is an Estonian film version based on a play by Samuil Aljošin. In this version, Don Juan is a woman dressed in men's clothes, she is accompanied by her servant Florestino on her adventure in the capital of Estonia. Don Juan DeMarco, starring Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando, is a film in which a mental patient is convinced he is Don Juan, retells his life story to a psychiatrist.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, values, reason and language. Such questions are posed as problems to be studied or resolved; the term was coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will? "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize.
In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology and economics. Other investigations related to art, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Traditionally, the term "philosophy" referred to any body of knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is related to religion, natural science and politics. Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy is classified in the 2000s as a book of physics. In the first part of the first book of his Academics, Cicero introduced the division of philosophy into logic and ethics. Metaphysical philosophy was the study of existence, God, logic and other abstract objects; this division has changed.
Natural philosophy has split into the various natural sciences astronomy, chemistry and cosmology. Moral philosophy still includes value theory. Metaphysical philosophy has birthed formal sciences such as logic and philosophy of science, but still includes epistemology and others. Many philosophical debates that began in ancient times are still debated today. Colin McGinn and others claim. Chalmers and others, by contrast, see progress in philosophy similar to that in science, while Talbot Brewer argued that "progress" is the wrong standard by which to judge philosophical activity. In one general sense, philosophy is associated with wisdom, intellectual culture and a search for knowledge. In that sense, all cultures and literate societies ask philosophical questions such as "how are we to live" and "what is the nature of reality". A broad and impartial conception of philosophy finds a reasoned inquiry into such matters as reality and life in all world civilizations. Western philosophy is the philosophical tradition of the Western world and dates to Pre-Socratic thinkers who were active in Ancient Greece in the 6th century BCE such as Thales and Pythagoras who practiced a "love of wisdom" and were termed physiologoi.
Socrates was a influential philosopher, who insisted that he possessed no wisdom but was a pursuer of wisdom. Western philosophy can be divided into three eras: Ancient, Medieval philosophy, Modern philosophy; the Ancient era was dominated by Greek philosophical schools which arose out of the various pupils of Socrates, such as Plato, who founded the Platonic Academy and his student Aristotle, founding the Peripatetic school, who were both influential in Western tradition. Other traditions include Cynicism, Greek Skepticism and Epicureanism. Important topics covered by the Greeks included metaphysics, the nature of the well-lived life, the possibility of knowledge and the nature of reason. With the rise of the Roman empire, Greek philosophy was increasingly discussed in Latin by Romans such as Cicero and Seneca. Medieval philosophy is the period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire and was dominated by the ris
Karl Theodor Jaspers was a German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher who had a strong influence on modern theology and philosophy. After being trained in and practicing psychiatry, Jaspers turned to philosophical inquiry and attempted to discover an innovative philosophical system, he was viewed as a major exponent of existentialism in Germany, though he did not accept the label. Jaspers was born in Oldenburg in 1883 to a mother from a local farming community, a jurist father, he showed an early interest in philosophy, but his father's experience with the legal system undoubtedly influenced his decision to study law at University of Heidelberg. It soon became clear that Jaspers did not enjoy law, he switched to studying medicine in 1902 with a thesis about criminology. In 1910 he married the sister of his close friends Gustav Mayer and Ernst Mayer. Jaspers earned his medical doctorate from University of Heidelberg medical school in 1908 and began work at a psychiatric hospital in Heidelberg under Franz Nissl, successor of Emil Kraepelin and Karl Bonhoeffer, Karl Wilmans.
Jaspers became dissatisfied with the way the medical community of the time approached the study of mental illness and gave himself the task of improving the psychiatric approach. In 1913 Jaspers habilitated at the philosophical faculty of the Heidelberg University and gained there in 1914 a post as a psychology teacher; the post became a permanent philosophical one, Jaspers never returned to clinical practice. During this time Jaspers was a close friend of the Weber family. In 1921, at the age of 38, Jaspers turned from psychology to philosophy, expanding on themes he had developed in his psychiatric works, he became a philosopher, in Europe. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Jaspers was considered to have a "Jewish taint" due to his Jewish wife, was forced to retire from teaching in 1937. In 1938 he fell under a publication ban as well. Many of his long-time friends stood by him, he was able to continue his studies and research without being isolated, but he and his wife were under constant threat of removal to a concentration camp until 30 March 1945, when Heidelberg was liberated by American troops.
In 1948 Jaspers moved to the University of Basel in Switzerland. He remained prominent in the philosophical community and became a naturalized citizen of Switzerland living in Basel until his death on his wife's 90th birthday in 1969. Jaspers' dissatisfaction with the popular understanding of mental illness led him to question both the diagnostic criteria and the methods of clinical psychiatry, he published a paper in 1910 in which he addressed the problem of whether paranoia was an aspect of personality or the result of biological changes. Although it did not broach new ideas, this article introduced a rather unusual method of study, at least according to the norms prevalent. Not unlike Freud, Jaspers studied patients in detail, giving biographical information about the patients as well as notes on how the patients themselves felt about their symptoms; this has become known as the biographical method and now forms a mainstay of psychiatric and above all psychotherapeutic practice. Jaspers set down his views on mental illness in a book which he published in 1913, General Psychopathology.
This work has become a classic in the psychiatric literature and many modern diagnostic criteria stem from ideas found within it. One of Jaspers' central tenets was that psychiatrists should diagnose symptoms of mental illness by their form rather than by their content. For example, in diagnosing a hallucination, it is more important to note that a person experiences visual phenomena when no sensory stimuli account for them, than to note what the patient sees. What the patient sees is the "content", but the discrepancy between visual perception and objective reality is the "form". Jaspers thought, he argued that clinicians should not consider a belief delusional based on the content of the belief, but only based on the way in which a patient holds such a belief. Jaspers distinguished between primary and secondary delusions, he defined primary delusions as autochthonous, meaning that they arise without apparent cause, appearing incomprehensible in terms of a normal mental process. Secondary delusions, on the other hand, he defined as those influenced by the person's background, current situation or mental state.
Jaspers considered primary delusions to be "un-understandable," since he believed no coherent reasoning process existed behind their formation. This view has caused some controversy, the likes of R. D. Laing and Richard Bentall have criticised it, stressing that this stance can lead therapists into the complacency of assuming that because they do not understand a patient, the patient is deluded and further investigation on the part of the therapist will have no effect. For instance Huub Engels argues that schizophrenic disordered speech may be understandable, just as Emil Kraepelin's dream speech is understandable. Most commentators associate Jaspers with the philosophy of existentialism, in part because he draws upon the existentialist roots of Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, in part because the theme of individual freedom permeates his work. In Philosophy, Jaspers gave his view of the history of philosophy and i
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family; the story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles' three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe. In the best known version of the myth, Oedipus was born to Queen Jocasta. Laius wished to thwart the prophecy, so he sent a shepherd-servant to leave Oedipus to die on a mountainside. However, the shepherd took pity on the baby and passed him to another shepherd who gave Oedipus to King Polybus and Queen Merope to raise as their own. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother but, unaware of his true parentage, believed he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, so left for Thebes.
On his way he killed him in a quarrel. Continuing on to Thebes, he found that the king of the city had been killed, that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king – and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, his mother Jocasta. Years to end a plague on Thebes, Oedipus searched to find who had killed Laius, discovered that he himself was responsible. Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married her own son, hanged herself. Oedipus seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them; the legend of Oedipus has been retold in many versions, was used by Sigmund Freud to name and give mythic precedent to the Oedipus complex. Variations on the legend of Oedipus are mentioned in fragments by several ancient Greek poets including Homer, Pindar and Euripides. However, the most popular version of the legend comes from the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta and queen of Thebes.
Having been childless for some time, Laius consulted the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The Oracle prophesied. In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pierced and tethered together so that he could not crawl. However, rather than leave the child to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the servant passed the baby on to a shepherd from Corinth and who gave the child to another shepherd; the infant Oedipus came to the house of Polybus, king of Corinth and his queen, who adopted him, as they were without children of their own. Little Oedipus/Oidipous was named after the swelling from the injuries to his ankles; the word "oedema" or "edema" is from this same Greek word for swelling: oedēma. After many years, Oedipus was told by a drunk that he was a "bastard", meaning at that time that he was not their biological son. Oedipus confronted his parents with the news. Oedipus went to the same oracle in Delphi; the oracle informed him that he was destined to marry his mother.
In an attempt to avoid such a fate, he decided not to return home to Corinth, but to travel to Thebes, closer to Delphi. On the way, Oedipus came to Davlia. There he encountered a chariot driven by King Laius, they fought over who had the right to go first and Oedipus killed Laius when the charioteer tried to run him over. The only witness of the king's death was a slave who fled from a caravan of slaves traveling on the road at the time. Continuing his journey to Thebes, Oedipus encountered a Sphinx, who would stop all travelers to Thebes and ask them a riddle. If the travelers were unable to answer her they would be killed and eaten; the riddle was: "What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?". Oedipus answered: "Man: as an infant, he crawls on all fours. Oedipus was the first to answer the riddle and, having heard Oedipus' answer, the Sphinx allowed him to carry on forward. Queen Jocasta's brother, had announced that any man who could rid the city of the Sphinx would be made king of Thebes, given the widowed Queen Jocasta's hand in marriage.
This marriage of Oedipus to Jocasta fulfilled the rest of the prophecy. Oedipus and Jocasta had four children: two sons and Polynices, two daughters and Ismene. Many years after the marriage of Oedipus and Jocasta, a plague of infertility struck the city of Thebes, affecting crops and the people. Oedipus asserted, he sent Creon, to the Oracle at Delphi, seeking guidance. When Creon returned, Oedipus learned that the murderer of the former King Laius must be brought to justice, Oedipus himself cursed the killer of his wife's late husband, saying that he would be exiled. Creon suggested that they try to find the blind prophet, Tiresias, respected. Oedipus sent for Tiresias, who warned him not to seek Laius'
Alfred A. Knopf
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad and were known for publishing European and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends, it was acquired by Random House in 1960, acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998, is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The Knopf publishing house is associated with its borzoi colophon, designed by co-founder Blanche Knopf in 1925. Knopf was founded in 1915 by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. along with Blanche Knopf, on a $5,000 advance from his father, Samuel Knopf. The first office was located in New York's Candler Building; the publishing house was incorporated in 1918, with Alfred Knopf as president, Blanche Knopf as vice president, Samuel Knopf as treasurer. From the start, Knopf focused on European translations and high-brow works of literature. Among their initial publications were French author Émile Augier's Four Plays, Russian writer Nikolai Gogol's Taras Bulba, Polish novelist Stanisław Przybyszewski's novel Homo Sapiens, French writer Guy de Maupassant's Yvette, a Novelette, Ten Other Stories.
During World War I these books were cheap to obtain and helped establish Knopf as an American firm publishing European works. Their first bestseller was a new edition of Green Mansions, a novel by W. H. Hudson which went through nine printings by 1919 and sold over 20,000 copies, their first original American novel, The Three Black Pennys by Joseph Hergesheimer, was published in 1917. With the start of the 1920s Knopf began using innovative advertising techniques to draw attention to their books and authors. Beginning in 1920, Knopf produced a chapbook, for the purpose of promoting new books; the Borzoi was published periodically over the years, the first being a hardback called the Borzoi and sometimes quarterly as the Borzoi Quarterly. For Floyd Dell's coming-of-age novel, Moon-Calf, they paid men to walk the streets of the financial and theatre districts dressed in artist costumes with sandwich boards; the placards directed interested buyers to local book shops. The unique look of their books along with their expertise in advertising their authors drew Willa Cather to leave her previous publisher Houghton Mifflin to join Alfred A. Knopf.
As she was still under contract for her novels, the Knopfs suggested publishing a collection of her short stories and the Bright Medusa in 1920. Cather was pleased with the results and the advertisement of the book in the New Republic and would go on to publish sixteen books with Knopf including their first Pulitzer prize winner, One Of Ours. Before they had married, Alfred had promised Blanche that they would be equal partners in the publishing company, but it was clear by the company's fifth anniversary that this was not to be the case. Knopf published a celebratory 5th anniversary book in which Alfred was the focus of anecdotes by authors and Blanche's name was only mentioned once to note that "Mrs. Knopf" had found a manuscript; this despite ample evidence from authors and others that Blanche was in fact the soul of the company. This was covered extensively in The Lady with the Borzoi by Laura Claridge. In 1923 Knopf started publishing periodicals, beginning with The American Mercury, founded by H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, which it published through 1934.1923 marked the year that Knopf published Kahlil Gibran's the Prophet.
Knopf had published Gibran's earlier works. In its first year, the Prophet only sold 1,159 copies, it would double sales the next year and keep doubling becoming one of the firm's most successful books. In 1965 the book sold 240,000 copies. Samuel Knopf died in 1932. William A. Koshland joined the company in 1934, worked with the firm for more than fifty years, rising to take the positions of President and Chairman of the Board. Blanche became President in 1957 when Alfred became Chairman of the Board, worked for the firm until her death in 1966. Alfred Knopf retired in 1972, becoming chairman emeritus of the firm until his death in 1984. Alfred Knopf had a summer home in Purchase, New York. Following the Good Neighbor policy, Blanche Knopf visited South America in 1942, so the firm could start producing texts from there, she was one of the first publishers to visit Europe after World War II. Her trips, those of other editors, brought in new writers from Europe, South America, Asia. Alfred traveled to Brazil in 1961, which spurred a corresponding interest on his part in South America.
Penn Publishing Company was acquired in 1943. The Knopfs' son, Alfred "Pat" Jr. was hired on as trade books manager after the war. In 1952, editor Judith Jones joined Knopf as an editor. Jones discovered Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl in a slush pile and acquired Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Jones would remain with Knopf, retiring in 2011 as a senior editor and vice-president after a career that included working with John Updike and Anne Tyler. Pat Knopf left his parents' publishing company in 1959 to launch his own, Atheneum Publishers, with two other partners; the story made the front page of the New York Times. In a 1957 advertisement in the Atlantic Monthly, Alfred A. Knopf published the Borzoi Credo; the credo includes a list of what Knopf's beliefs for publishing including the statement that he never published an unworthy book. Among a list of beliefs listed is the final one--"I believe that magazines, movies and radio will never replace good books." In 1960 Random House acquired Alfred A. Knopf.
It is believed that the decision to sell was prompted by Alfred A. Knopf, Jr. leaving Knopf to found his own book company, Atheneum Bo
Demons (Dostoevsky novel)
Demons is a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1871–72. It is considered one of the four masterworks written by Dostoevsky after his return from Siberian exile, along with Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Demons is a social and political satire, a psychological drama, large scale tragedy. Joyce Carol Oates has described it as "Dostoevsky's most confused and violent novel, his most satisfactorily'tragic' work." According to Ronald Hingley, it is Dostoevsky's "greatest onslaught on Nihilism", "one of humanity's most impressive achievements—perhaps its supreme achievement—in the art of prose fiction."Demons is an allegory of the catastrophic consequences of the political and moral nihilism that were becoming prevalent in Russia in the 1860s. A fictional town descends into chaos as it becomes the focal point of an attempted revolution, orchestrated by master conspirator Pyotr Verkhovensky; the mysterious aristocratic figure of Nikolai Stavrogin—Verkhovensky's counterpart in the moral sphere—dominates the book, exercising an extraordinary influence over the hearts and minds of all the other characters.
The idealistic, western-influenced generation of the 1840s, epitomized in the character of Stepan Verkhovensky, are presented as the unconscious progenitors and helpless accomplices of the'demonic' forces that take possession of the town. The original Russian title is Bésy, which means "demons". There are three English translations: The Possessed, The Devils, Demons. Constance Garnett's 1916 translation popularized the novel and gained it notoriety as The Possessed, but this title has been disputed by translators, they argue that "The Possessed" points in the wrong direction because Bésy refers to active subjects rather than passive objects—"possessors" rather than "the possessed". However,'Demons' refers not to individuals who act in various immoral or criminal ways, but rather to the ideas that possess them: non-material but living forces that subordinate the individual consciousness, distorting it and impelling it toward catastrophe. According to translator Richard Pevear, the demons are "that legion of isms that came to Russia from the West: idealism, empiricism, utilitarianism, socialism, nihilism, underlying them all, atheism."
The counter-ideal is that of an authentically Russian culture growing out of the people's inherent spirituality and faith. In a letter to his friend Apollon Maykov, Dostoevsky alludes to the episode of the Exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac in the Gospel of Luke as the inspiration for the title: "Exactly the same thing happened in our country: the devils went out of the Russian man and entered into a herd of swine... These are drowned or will be drowned, the healed man, from whom the devils have departed, sits at the feet of Jesus." Part of the passage is used as an epigraph, Dostoevsky's thoughts on its relevance to Russia are given voice by Stepan Verkhovensky on his deathbed near the end of the novel. In late 1860s Russia there was an unusual level of political unrest caused by student groups influenced by liberal and revolutionary ideas imported from Europe. In 1869, Dostoevsky conceived the idea of a'pamphlet novel' directed against the radicals, he focused on the group organized by young agitator Sergey Nechayev their murder of a former comrade—Ivan Ivanov—at the Petrovskaya Agricultural Academy in Moscow.
Dostoevsky had first heard of Ivanov from his brother-in-law, a student at the academy, had been much interested in his rejection of radicalism and exhortation of the Russian Orthodox Church and the House of Romanov as the true custodians of Russia's destiny. He was horrified to hear of Ivanov's murder by the Nechayevists, vowed to write a political novel about what he called "the most important problem of our time." Prior to this Dostoevsky had been working on a philosophical novel examining the psychological and moral implications of atheism. The political polemic and parts of the philosophical novel were merged into a single larger scale project, which became Demons; as work progressed, the liberal and nihilistic characters began to take on a secondary role as Dostoevsky focused more on the amoralism of a charismatic aristocratic figure—Nikolai Stavrogin. Although a merciless satirical attack on various forms of radical thought and action, Demons does not bear much resemblance to the typical anti-nihilist novels of the era, which tended to present the nihilists as deceitful and utterly selfish villains in an black and white moral world.
Dostoevsky's nihilists are portrayed in their ordinary human weakness, drawn into the world of destructive ideas through vanity, naïveté, idealism and the susceptibility of youth. In re-imagining Nechayev's orchestration of the murder, Dostoevsky was attempting to "depict those diverse and multifarious motives by which the purest of hearts and the most innocent of people can be drawn in to committing such a monstrous offence." In A Writer's Diary, he discusses the relationship of the ideas of his own generation to those of the current generation, suggests that in his youth he too could have become a follower of someone like Nechayev. As a young man Dostoevsky himself was a member of a radical organisation, for which he was arrested an