On the Teleological Threshold: Dostoevsky’s Execution of the Execution Motif

In: The Dostoevsky Journal

The traumatic event in the author’s life – a mock execution – has found its way into his works, both fiction and non-fiction, in an almost obsessively repetitious manner. Dostoevsky finds this original trauma analogous to many kinds of “threshold” events in which the moment before the final crossing over – be it murder, confession or a proposal of marriage – is experienced similarly as one of heightened awareness and acute intensity. The paper explores such “threshold” events in Dostoevsky’s opus.

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