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Appendix

Translation of ‘Characterisation of Belinsky (Information and illumination)’ by M.P. Pogodin

David Foreman and Irene Zohrab

Irene Zohrab

M.P. Pogodin’s essay on ‘Characterisation of Belinsky’ was published in The Citizen (Grazhdanin) under F.M. Dostoevsky’s editorship in response to his first issue of A Writer’s Diary (Dnevnik pisatelia) launched on January 1, 1873. Dostoevsky represents Belinsky, his former mentor, as an impassioned atheist and socialist, who tried to convert him to his materialist belief. By implication Belinsky becomes the scapegoat for Dostoevsky’s earlier involvement with the socialist-orientated Petrashevsky Circle that resulted in his arrest and sentence for reading Belinsky’s banned letter to Gogol. Pogodin disputes Dostoevsky’s representation of Belinsky by demonstrating the critic’s commitment to Christian faith, whose ‘live’ voice affected his audience due to ‘particular circumstances’ (censorship) and whose changeability was natural. Dostoevsky’s partisan allusions to Belinsky (including verbal to Vs. Solov’ev), while not providing any context to Belinsky’s pronouncements, nor engagement with socio-philosophical ideas, such as individual anarchism (Max Stirner), undermine not only Belinsky, but subvert a wide range of Western philosophical humanist principles espoused at various times by him, from ‘love of humanity’ and ‘personal freedom’, to individualism.

Géza S. Horváth

The paper analyzes the various parallels of plot and text in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punisment (1866) and Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter (1850). Similarity of motifs in these novels has already been noticed in the critical literature but more detailed research is still lacking. In this paper, it is claimed that Hawthorne’s novel provided Dostoevsky not only with the material for certain narrative situations, motifs and characters in Crime and Punishment but also influenced the heterogeneity and complexity of the genre in Dostoevsky’s novel. To illuminate this relationship of the two novels, the article examines the characteristics of the genre of romance, the eschatological plot of revelation and the apocalyptic imagery proper to the romance. The study is focused on the common metaphorical basis of the two texts, such as the biblical and mythical semantics of the motifs of New Jerusalem, pearl, treasure etc., which circumscribes the transformation process in the correspondence of tresaure and word, letter and text.

Denis Zhernokleyev

It is common to see Myshkin, the principal character of Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, as a failed lover and a compassionate saintly figure, who gets entangled in a love triangle but cannot embody it. This paper challenges such a view and argues that Myshkin fully incarnates the violent dynamic of desire that governs the novel. With the help of René Girard’s notion of mimetic desire, the paper explores Myshkin’s relationship with Rogozhin as erotic rivalry. Instead of seeing the two characters as autonomous entities, it is suggested that they should be viewed as doubles, as two poles of the same consciousness. On this view, Myshkin’s compassion and Rogozhin’s lust become two different manifestations of the same desire, united by a conflict of interest, which drives the love triangle towards a violent resolution.

Jordi Morillas

In this article we analyse the Marxist interpretation of F. M. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Although Raskolnikov’s worldview may share some features with a socialist point of view, the hero of Dostoevsky’s first novel of ideas represents a complete ideological antithesis to Socialism. Thanks to a careful analysis of Raskolnikov’s utterances and with the help of Merezhkovsky’s reading of the novel, we conclude that if there is a Dostoevsky novel which resists a Socialist understanding, then this novel is Crime and Punishment.

Series:

Emily-Rose Carr

Abstract

Terror and the sublime have been linked in theoretical material by numerous academics, including notable sublime theorists Edmund Burke, Immanuel Kant, and Barbara Freeman. In the traditional sublime theories of Burke and Kant, terror is experienced at a distance, and it is precisely this distance which facilitates the sublime emotion. However, instances of contemporary American fiction indicate a rejection of this separating distance: they portray characters who desire to be participants in, and facilitators of, terror, thus aligning closely with the feminine sublime theory that Freeman champions. This chapter will explore, specifically, how the protagonists of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club (1996) and Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (1991) explore manifestations of Freeman’s feminine sublime through their dual role of violator and victim of the terror they perpetuate in the novels. While a notable amount of violent, frightening, or Gothic literature portrays a world in which a monstrous anomaly disrupts an otherwise normal society, American Psycho and Fight Club refute this tradition with examples of inherently unstable, frightening, and terrible environments in which they are willing participants. Considering this, this chapter will argue that American Psycho and Fight Club indicate not only a sublime experience with the application of terror in the novels but also that it is through this application that the specific feminine sublime manifests itself – the protagonists of each novel demonstrate the desire to be victims of the very terror they are perpetuating, suggesting a rejection of the distance that defines the traditional sublime formula.

Drawing the Divine Seed

India, Alterity and the Real in the Works of J.M. Coetzee

Anas Tabraiz

Abstract

This article connects the disparate references to India in Coetzee’s writings to his core debate on ethics. Coetzee’s novels are in dialogue with the Western philosophical and psychoanalytic tradition that privileges an intersubjective reality over the reality of the objective world. This tradition sees the common Indians, and the natives of colonies, indifferently poised at the threshold of humanity. Being barely human these indifferent multitudes are seen as dispensable objects devoid of ethical claims. Coetzee’s metafiction highlights the ways in which the intersubjective community uses language and signification to produce a closed consensual reality against the open truths of the objective world. Coetzee’s snippets from India interweave the reality of a world oblivious to Western sentience and cognition. His efforts at pulling the obscure into the divine light of the rational community becomes comparable to drawing the divine seed to fertilize an abandoned and banished version of the Eternal Feminine.

Series:

Nicole M. Jowsey

Abstract

In Being and Time, Martin Heidegger argues that death is always impending, and as such our existence in the world is one that is Being-toward-death. Despite the fact that we can never escape death, we are constantly trying to flee it and distract ourselves from it. There is a certain anxiety and fear in the face of death that mortals experience, hence the reason we try to outrun it. Looking at the figure of the hero, we see an individual who, at times, experiences horror and terror in their lives. They face death, and they too are afraid to die; however, the hero is able to overcome such fears, in spite of the horror and terror, and meet death head on. In this respect, the hero embodies what Heidegger calls authenticity, and therefore lives an authentic life. This chapter seeks to examine the hero’s relationship to death, their fear of it, as well as their ability to overcome it and achieve authenticity. Using Achilleus and Harry Potter as examples of Ancient and Modern epic heroes, I will show how both heroes experience fear and anxiety, while facing death, but then embrace and overcome them in order to fulfill their allotted destiny and measure. Both Achilleus and Harry experience deep loss and mourning, and yet through the pain and horror are able to come to terms with their own fate and finitude. This shared experience demonstrates Heidegger’s theory and allows them to be thought of as achieving authenticity.