Mariia V. Mikhnovetc
Dostoevsky Museum, St. Petersburg
Formation of the image of the Caucasus in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s creative personality
Mikhnovets M.V. Formation of the image of the Caucasus in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s creative personality. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2020, vol. 26, № 1, pp. 132–137 (In Russ.). DOI 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-132-137
DOI: 10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-1-132-137
УДК: 821.161.1.09"19"
Publish date: 2019-12-24
Annotation: The article explores the Caucasian theme in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fiction and non-fiction writings. The paper is based on a set of biographical, historical-cultural and historical-literary sources of the writer's knowledge of the Caucasus. The article shows Fyodor Dostoevsky’s works were marginally affected by the information on the Caucasus and on the Caucasian wars the writer has at his disposal. The writer referred to characters’ military service in the Caucasus several times in his fiction works, however, such detail never had influence on their development. In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novels, the Caucasus is a stable topos of romantic literature but it often has pejorative overtones. The present study shows a paradoxical discrepancy between the volume of the writer's knowledge about the Caucasus and the prominence of the Caucasian theme in his works. To further understand this discrepancy, it is important to consider the theme of the Caucasus in the context of the writer’s geopolitical views. Fyodor Dostoevsky appears to have little interest in the ethnocultural features of what he saw as a peripheral region of the Russian Empire. In Fyodor Dostoevsky’s world-view, the Caucasus had no symbolic capital and therefore was only represented using one simplified feature.
Keywords: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian Empire, Caucasus, Caucasian War, Mikhail Petrashevsky Circle, Romanticism, world-view, geopolitics, periphery.
Funding and acknowledgments: The research was made with the financial support of the RFBR as a part of the project No. 18-012-90020/19
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Author's info: Mariia V. Mikhnovetc, ORCID: 0000-0002-7818-2321, Master of Philological Education, Research department, Dostoevsky Museum, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. E-mail: mikhnovets@dostoevsky.spb.ru