Author: Maria Candida Ghidini
Information about the author:

PhD in Philology, Professor, Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Cultural Enterprises, University of Parma, San Michele St. 9, 43100 Parma, Italy.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For citation:

Ghidini, Maria Candida. “Confession and Writing in Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent”. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 3 (15), 2021, pp. 39-52. (In Russ.)

Received: 15 Mar. 2021
Published: 25 Sep. 2021
Issue: 2021 no. 3 (15)
Pages: 39-52
UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2)
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Rousseau, сonfession, The Adolescent
Abstract: This article analyses the specificity of Dostoevsky’s confessional prose, focusing on the novel The Adolescent. Dostoevsky can be defined as a superconfessional author, but he is characterized by a certain suspicion, and a certain mistrustfulness towards the very process of confession is typical of him. The article attempts to show that this apparent paradox has its origins in the modern context in which Dostoevsky operates, when religious, sacramental confession gives way to a psychological practice of self-affirmation.


1. Avgustin Blazhennyi. Ispoved’ [Confessions]. St. Petersburg, Nauka Publ., 2013. 373 p. (In Russ.)

2. Bakhtin, M.M. Sobranie sochinenii v 7 tomakh [Complete Works in 7 vols]. Moscow, Russkie slovari Publ., 1997–2010. (In Russ.)

3. Grossman, L.P. Poetika Dostoevskogo [Dostoevsky’s Poetics]. Moscow, GAKhN Publ., 1925. 188 p. (In Russ.)

4. Dobroliubov, N.A. Izbrannye stat’i [Selected Articles]. Moscow, Sovremennik Publ., 1980. 444 p. (In Russ.)

5. Dostoevskii, F.M. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: v 30 tomakh [Complete Works: in 30 vols]. Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1972–1990. (In Russ.)

6. Zhivolupova, N.V. Problema avtorskoi pozitsii v ispovedal’nom povestvovanii Dostoevskogo 60-70kh gg. (“Zapiski iz podpol’ia”, “Podrostok”) [The Problem of the Author’s Position in Dostoevsky’s Confessional Writing in 1980s-1870s (Notes From the Underground; The Adolescent)]. Nizhnyi Novgorod, Diatlovy gory Publ., 2018. 232 p. (In Russ.)

7. Lermontov, M.Iu. “Geroi nashego vremeni” [“An Hero of Our Times”]. Sobranie sochinenii: v 4 tomakh [Collected Works: in 4 vols], vol. 4, Moscow, USSR Academy of Sciences Publ., 1958, pp. 7-158. (In Russ.)

8. Russo, Zh-Zh. Izbrannye sochineniia: v 3 tomakh [Selected Works: in 3 vols]. Moscow, Goslitizdat Publ., 1962.

9. Fuko, M. “O nachale germenevtiki sebia” [“About the Beginning of a Hermeneutic of the Self”]. Logos, vol. 65, no. 2, 2008, pp. 65-95. (In Russ.)

10. Coetzee, J.M. “Confession and Double Thoughts. Tolstoj. Rousseau. Dostoevsky”. Comparative Literature, vol. 37, no. 3, 1985, pp. 193-232. (In English)

11. Meerson, O. Dostoevsky’s Taboos. Dresden, Dresden University Press, 1998. 232 p. (In English)

12. Miller, R.F. “Dostoevsky and Rousseau: The Morality of Confession Reconsidered”. Dostoevsky. New Perspectives, ed. by R.L. Jackson, Prentice-Hall, 1984, pp. 82-98. (In English)

13. Montaigne, M. Essais. Paris, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 2007. 1975 p. (In French)