In this article, I demonstrate that in Crime and Punishment (1866) and Demons (1872), Dostoevsky uses a specific type of dialogue—which I term “the about-face dialogue”—to present the displacement of a young man’s unconscious rage against his mother on to society while hiding it from the awareness of both protagonist and reader. In this type of dialogue, the protagonist interprets his interlocutor’s unwittingly ambiguous word or phrase as a scathing rebuke of his rage against his mother, and his reaction constitutes a displacement of this rage on to the outside world. Our awareness of the interplay between the unconscious and the outside world in this type of dialogue enables us to understand the protagonist’s sudden about-face from compassion to apathy, or even animosity, which is incomprehensible on the purely rational level.
This contribution aims to present those aspects of the literary and intellectual legacy of F. M. Dostoevsky (1821–1881) that motivated Ernst Jünger (1895–1998) in formulating his own literary and essayistic work. Dostoevsky’s impact on Jünger has so far been researched only fragmentarily and sporadically. This builds on previous research and complements it with new findings. Ernst Jünger inquired into Dostoevsky’s works throughout his life. He perceived Dostoevsky as a foreteller of crises and disasters. Many of Jünger’s motifs, literary images, characters, and symbols were either influenced by or borrowed from Dostoevsky and developed further. Of great importance to Jünger are such phenomena as power, evil or misery, and pain. Dostoevsky also shaped Jünger’s approach to nihilism.
The article contains an analysis of one of the references to Emperor Napoleon iii in the preparatory materials of F. M. Dostoevsky for The Demons. In addition, the hypothesis of Louis Bonaparte as one of the prototypes of Peter Verkhovensky is considered. This assumption is based on the material of Dostoevsky’s notebooks and has already been expressed by V. A. Tunimanov and A. Pekurovskaya, although it has not yet received complete development. The article shows what are the details of Napoleon iii’s biography, what are the elements of his political tactics and individual myth that could be known to Dostoevsky and used by him in creating such a character as younger Verkhovensky. In line with the “black legend” about Louis Bonaparte, Verkhovensky relies on people who are deprived of a stable social position. He goes for a hoax willingly and hopes that demoralization and panic in society will allow him to come to power. Just as Napoleon iii stands hostage for the myth of his great uncle, Verkhovensky is slavishly dependent on his “idol,” his “Ivan Tsarevitch”—Stavrogin. Both pairs can be considered from the point of view of the phenomenon of mimetic desire as it was described by R. Girard. The article also shows how historical and literary prototypes of the same character interact with each other, revealing certain functional features of the new hero. In this case, the relationship between the figures of Napoleon iii and Gogol’s Khlestakov in the general design of the image of Verkhovensky is briefly addressed.
The focus of this article is on Dostoevskii’s story “Bobok” [“Bobok,” 1873] and Petrushevskaia’s novel Nomer Odin, ili V sadakh drugikh vozmozhnostei [Number One, or In the Gardens of Other Opportunities, 2004]. These dialogical narratives explore the theme of life after death; they portray death as a transition to life that includes several stages, and focus on the process of dying, living in a different form, and dying again. I discuss how these radical views on death are expressed in “Bobok” and Nomer Odin (with some reference to Dostoevskii’s Zapiski iz podpol’ia [Notes from Underground, 1864] and Petrushevskaia’s Vremia: Noch’ [Time: Night, 1992]): from the “getting naked” (“zagolimsia,” “obnazhimsia”) preached and practised by the decaying corpses in Dostoevskii’s text, to transitions between different stages after death in Petrushevskaia’s novel, such as metempsychosis, as well as tropes used to denote these transitions.
The article deals with the question of the significance of N.N.Strakhov’s works for Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot. In particular, excerpts from the History of New Philosophy by Kuno Fischer are analyzed. Passages from this work were published by Strakhov in the journals “Vremia” and “Svetoch” for 1861. Parts of Fischer’s History are important for understanding the philosophical ideas of Strakhov, and their significance for Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot. Research shows that in terms of ideological content, Dostoevsky’s novel is polemically directed against Strakhov’s “idea of God”.
The article offers a new interpretation of the various expressions of the motif or sign of oak leaves, contained in the manuscript drafts of the novel Crime and Punishment. The expressions of the motif are decoded in the style of 3D letters, pointing to the key words of the third draft of the novel: “Dostoevsky”, “Journal”, “Routine”. These signs, which are part of Dostoevsky’s ideographic language, belong to the period of work on the novel from October to December 1865. It is the period in which the hero’s ideology was radically transformed, and the philanthropic motivation of the murders (to help the mother and the sister) was substituted by the “Napoleonic idea” (“am I a trembling worm or do I have the right”). The examination of these signs in conjunction with the writer’s notes contiguous with them, leads to the inference that these signs are genetically connected with the heraldry of the Dostoevsky clan, as well as with the symbolism of the 19th century “mundir” (uniform) attributions: the oak leaves were embroidery adorning a general’s “mundir”, and were a sign of recognition “for outstanding service”. Napoleon’s uniform, at the time of the Battle of Marengo, also had oak leaves embroidery; the battle is mentioned twice by Dostoevsky in the course of work on Crime and Punishment.