"Backgrounds and Sources" includes relevant writings by Dostoevsky, among them "Winter Notes on Summer Impressions," the author's account of a formative trip to the West.
New to the Second Edition are excerpts from V. F. Odoevksy's "Russian Nights" and I. S. Turgenev's "Hamlet of Shchigrovsk District." In "Responses", Michael Katz links this seminal novel to the theme of the underground man in six famous works, two of them new to the Second Edition: an excerpt from M.
E. Saltykov-Shchedrin's The Swallows, Woody Allen's Notes from the Overfed, Robert Walser's The Child, an excerpt from Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man, an excerpt from Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, and an excerpt from Jean-Paul Sartre's Erostratus. "Criticism" brings together eleven interpretations by both Russian and Western critics from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, two of them new to the Second Edition.
Included are essays by Nikolai K. Mikhailovsky, Vasily Rozanov, Lev Shestov, M. M. Bakhtin, Ralph E. Matlaw, Victor Erlich, Robert Louis Jackson, Gary Saul Morson, Richard H.
Weisberg, Joseph Frank, and Tzvetan Todorov. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.