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In Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949), Tomasz Ewertowski examines how Polish and Serbian travelers described China, surveys various factors which influenced their style of writing, and illustrates the social, political and intellectual context that determined their different representations of the Middle Kingdom. The corpus includes a vast array of texts written by more than 80 authors who traveled to China from the 18th to the mid-20th century, including sources that have not been published. Besides making new facts and sources accessible, the research presented in this book introduces a comparative perspective and provides a thorough literary and cultural analysis of the aforesaid travelogues.
In: Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949)

Abstract

The first chapter focuses on the identities of travelers and the historical contexts of their travels. The corpus contains texts written in different periods by various people, each of whom experienced China in a unique way. By analyzing who they were, when and how they traveled to China, as well as the purpose of their writing, a basis for further analysis is created. Circumstances of a journey, a traveler’s habitus, and the role in which he or she is traveling, the point of view from which the narrative is written, and the projected readers — all these factors are crucial for understanding travelogues and the images of China within them. Because of this, the first step in this investigation is to introduce the main protagonists, Polish and Serbian travelers.

In: Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949)
In: Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949)

Abstract

In the second chapter, images of places in China which were the most visited by travelers will be analyzed. Because the materialities of travel are very important, it is necessary to scrutinize some specific locations. The immense territory of the Middle Kingdom with its regional differences suggest that it is important to pay attention to which parts of the country were visited by travelers, when were those parts visited, and which route(s) were followed.

In: Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949)

Abstract

In the third and final chapter, the results of the research are summarized in order to provide a general overview of different representations of China. Chapter 3 uses material gathered in previous chapters, but here the perspective changes from specific to general. The first part of Chapter 3 concentrates on the most common and significant features and sights, e.g. clothes and appearance, settlements, streets, houses, rickshaws, temples and art, theater and music, language and writing, agriculture, tombs and funerary habits, food and culinary customs, dirt and smells. The second part discusses general views on China as formulated by travelers: encounters between civilizations; history, tradition and modernity; national character; China as a land of turmoil; China as a land of otherness.

In: Images of China in Polish and Serbian Travel Writings (1720-1949)

Abstract

In the Notebooks to Crime and Punishment, kept by Dostoevsky during 1864–1865, we find a calligraphic annotation «Orenoko» and one abbreviated variant «Oren<oko>». While these two caligraphic entries appear to be accidental and without much bearing on the genesis of Crime and Punishment, in actual fact these entries are traces of an alternative conception of the novel with which Dostoevsky was working, which is connected with the question of the meaning of life and the philosophical journey of his heroes. The theme of South America figured prominently in these deliberations, represented by the River Orinoko (the second largest river of the South American continent, called the «Big River» by the Indians), by the figure and destiny of Christopher Columbus and by Daniel Defoes’s novel Robinson Crusoe. Dostoevsky’s letters and works testify to his abiding interest in the discovery of America, the slave trade, and the attempts of the followers of Fourierism to establish there a society along new just principles. This article investigates the traces of the theme of Orenoko, the discovery of America and Defoe’s novel in Dostoevsky’s works, with special emphasis on the Notebooks to Crime and Punishment The semantic nexus “Robinson Crusoe — Christopher Columbus” in its portrayal of one of the incarnations of a “positively beautiful man”, ready to pronounce his “new word” and advance the history of mankind, forms an expanded paradigm that includes the appearance of “uninhabited island” as the last refuge for a talented person not recognized and rejected by the crowd. Simultaneously, it depicts the genesis of Dostoevsky’s “artistic Word”.

In: The Dostoevsky Journal
In: The Dostoevsky Journal
Author: Wolf Schmid

Abstract

More than 200 sheets of Dostoevsky’s manuscripts contain drawings, among them mainly portraits, sketches of Gothic windows and arches and calligrams. Dostoevsky’s graphic work is basically auto-communicative, not intended for a public. The graphics are not an illustration of the corresponding novels but express associations often of a highly private nature and have a meaning for the work that is often only very indirect and difficult to grasp. Dostoevsky’s graphics thus require hermeneutic effort, which has been achieved by Professor Konstantin Barsht of St. Petersburg in an impressive book, published in three separate editions in Russian, English and Italian. The decoding of Dostoevsky’s drawings is a most valuable contribution to Dostoevsky scholarship. It will serve to support new readings of Dostoevsky’s works or readings already in existence which have not received a favorable reception because of existing preconceptions about Dostoevsky’s system of beliefs relevant to his aesthetic production.

In: The Dostoevsky Journal

In this paper I analyse the internal splitting in Raskolnikov’s character, and the path which leads him from fragmentation to integration. The splitting of the character is explained as complemented by the split in the novel through the ‘surprising’ end of the novel, both in its style and brevity, i.e. the resolution of the internal conflict via Raskolnikov’s mystical turn to faith. The splitting comprises the fact that Raskolnikov must alienate himself in radical alterity in order to come to his authentic self; the split between the fictitious, false self of the extraordinary man and the realistic and true self of the ordinary man at the end of the novel tells the story of how the fragmented self, paradoxically, opens up the way to the integrated self. For this purpose I have relied mostly on Lacanian concepts, as Lacan’s idea of the integrated ‘I’ is closely related to the ethical act by which the Symbolic is transgressed, and which represents a radical alienation in the Real concomitant with the temporary suspension of the Symbolic.

In: The Dostoevsky Journal