Wonder Confronts Certainty: Russian Writers on the Timeless Questions and Why Their Answers Matter

21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$37.95  $35.29
Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.44 X 9.5 X 1.78 inches | 2.08 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Gary Saul Morson is a prizewinning literary critic and the author of "Anna Karenina" in Our Time, Narrative and Freedom, and, most recently, Minds Wide Shut, cowritten with Morton Schapiro. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Morson has written for the New York Review of Books, American Scholar, New Criterion, and Wall Street Journal. He is Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University, where for three decades he has taught an iconic course on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky that is frequently the university's most popular class.
An impeccable contribution to literary criticism, social philosophy, and philosophical anthropology. Against debilitating nihilism and secular and religious fundamentalism, it affirms dialogue, conversation, and the 'polyphonic' expression of rich and diverse personal points of view. Morson embodies the best insights of the Russian literary tradition he sets out to illuminate.--Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation
A profound, passionate, and wholly original celebration of Russian realism as both literary school and way of life. Invoking bitter historical precedent, Morson shows us that reality itself--the sensual, moral experience of living and loving actual humans--requires an able defender in the face of alluring theoretical abstractions, perfect futures, and idealized visions of humanity. And who better to defend the prosaic elements of lived experience than those writers whose unprecedented achievements depended on their ability to describe it so well?--Yuri Corrigan, author of Dostoevsky and the Riddle of the Self
A compelling and necessary book. Drawing on a vast fund of knowledge of Russian history and literature and a fine understanding of Russian fiction, Morson joins together two large subjects: a riveting--and scary--account of the Russian cult of murder from nineteenth-century terrorism to its continuation in Soviet state terror, and its humanistic antidote in the great Russian novelists.--Robert Alter, author of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary
Wanderer, Idealist, Revolutionary: in his latest guide, Gary Saul Morson plots these three personality types through two centuries of Russian literature. This is not a neutral book. Among its several purposes is to prod readers into realizing that the passion to possess a definitive ideology--urgent, materialist, maximalist--can be as dangerous an appetite as the drive to possess physical bodies.--Caryl Emerson, author of The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin
Morson has been writing superb books about Russian fiction for over forty years, but Wonder Confronts Certainty is his most profound and capacious, taking on new concerns and periods in the ongoing engagement of the Russian novel with ideas, extreme conditions, and ultimate questions. With illumination from intellectual history, comparative literary history, and moral philosophy, it incisively captures what makes Russian literature both Russian and timeless, of its time and open-ended.--William Mills Todd III, author of Fiction and Society in the Age of Pushkin
Morson's encyclopedic knowledge of Russian literature is remarkable, and his analysis masterful and profound...This [book] attests to the enduring relevance of the Russian literary greats.-- "Publishers Weekly" (3/8/2023 12:00:00 AM)