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Author: Boris N. Tikhomirov
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DSc in Philology, Deputy Research Director of F.M. Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg.

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For citation:

Tikhomirov B. N. The Evangelical Stratum in the Architectonics of Dostoevsky’s Short Story “A Nasty Story” // Dostoevsky and World Culture. 2018. No 4. Pp. 65–77.

Issue: 2018 no. 4
Department: POETICS. CONTEXT
Pages: 65-77
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2018-4-65-77
UDK: 82.09
BBK: 83.3 (2РОС=РУС)
Keywords: Dostoevsky, “A Nasty Story”, poetics, architectonics, intertextuality, allusions, New Testament.
Abstract: : Dostoevsky’s “A Nasty Story” is examined as a landmark piece of work in the evolution of Dostoevsky’s creative system. The author focuses his attention on the system of Biblical intertexts in the artistic structure of the story, a system that plays the peculiar role both in organizing the creative cohesion of the short story and in embodying Dostoevsky’s position. In the anecdotal situation of the liberalminded general Pralinsky’s visit to his subordinate Pseldonimov’s marriage feast, Dostoevsky travesties the Evangelical episode of the marriage in Cana of Galilee, and organizes the plot as a farcical realization of Christ’s parable about new wine and old/new wineskins. The narrator pretending to become an apostle of a “humanism” that, in his mind, “will save everything” and lead to the “renewal of things”, by means of a system of New Testament intertextual references is correlated parodically to Apostles, to John the Baptist, and even to the Savior. As a result we can see, by contrast, that general Pralinsky’s means are pitifully unfit for the role he is claiming, and that the tasks he is setting to can be completed only by Christian (and not liberal) ways.

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