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Fedor Dostoevskii (1821-81), Russian novelist

Dostoevsky and the Epileptic Mode of Being
Paul Fung
Legenda (General Series) 10 December 2014

  • ‘Fung avoids the trap of a simplistic focus on Dostoevsky’s own real-life epilepsy. While noting the author's terror at the illness [...], he remains wisely off-trend by withholding any cod-scientific correlation between epilepsy and literary creativity. Fung’s interest is, rather, in what Dostoevsky wrote, more than the fact that his slow periods of recovery meant that he often could not write anything at all. And by focusing on ‘moments of caesuras and breaks’, Fung also sets himself apart from the myriad critics drawn to the famous scenes where verbal, and sometimes physical, arguments erupt with astonishing force... A Dostoevsky scholar to watch.’ — Andre van Loon, Review 31 online
  • ‘It’s a great philosophical read, which squeezes Dostoevsky and his characters in and out of the minds of any number of puissant Western thinkers. It deserves a welcome and respected place up on the bookshelves of Academia, next to the many fascinating books on the life and works of that perverse and talented genius of Russian literature: Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.’ — U. R. Bowie, classical-russian-literature.blogspot.co.uk 7 July 2015
  • ‘This book continues the philosophical discussion of Fedor Dostoevskii started by Friedrich Nietzsche, Lev Shestov, Alex de Jonge, and many others. Paul Fung de- scribes existential experiences of caesura (suspension), timelessness, and anticipation of death, which he attributes to some of Dostoevskii’s characters and, possibly, to the writer himself.’ — Irina Sirotkina, Slavic Review 75.1, Spring 2016, 210-11
  • ‘Paul Fung opens new perspectives onto Dostoevsky's post-Siberian novels by focusing on their preoccupation, at once morbid and exalted, with the moment, whose ineffable paradoxes congeal metaphorically around the epileptic attack.’ — Mark R. Pettiss, Russian Review 75.1, 2016, 140-42