Paulo Freire and Fyodor Dostoevsky: What an odd combination this appears to be! What possible connection, for those interested in education and transformation, could there be between these two individuals? Paulo Freire’s name is a familiar one for most educational theorists in the Western world. Known internationally for his work with illiterate adults in Brazil and for his infl uential book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, 1972a), Freire devoted his life to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. Dostoevsky, by contrast, had relatively little to say about education. A Russian writer of the nineteenth century, he is best known for his fi ction, and particularly for his major later works: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, The Adolescent, and The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoevsky was not a teacher by profession; nor, on the face of it, was education a key theme in his novels (or his shorter stories, or his journalistic writing). Why, then, should educationists bother with his work? And how might we understand the relationship between Dostoevsky and Freire?