Readers of diverse persuasions have viewed Fedor Dostoevsky (1821- 1881) and Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) as precursors of existentialism. The intention of this paper is to reconsider this perceived affinity between the two writers in the context of State censorship operating during their lifetimes in their respective countries, one writing and publishing in Imperial Russia that upheld the official Greco-Russian Orthodox Church, and the other in the Kingdom of Denmark with its State Lutheran Church.
The aim of this article is to study some possible intertextual links between Tom Brown’s Schooldays (Shkol’naia zhizn’ Toma Brauna. Rasskaz byvshego uchenika) by Thomas Hughes (1822–1896) and the later works of Dostoevsky: The Adolescent (Podrostok), The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (Son smeshnogo cheloveka) and Brothers Karamazov (Brat’ia Karamazovy). Hughes’s novel of 1857 was translated into Russian as a special Supplement to The Citizen when Dostoevsky was its editor and intended for distribution “no later than May 1874” to all subscribers for 1873 and 1874 free of charge. We propose to consider constitutive intertextuality in relation to tbs and some discursive features in Dostoevsky’s later works, as well as inter-connections in specific cases on the plot-composition level, subject matter, characterisation, use of individual motifs and symbols, and various other literary devices.
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.